An interactive work by the artist Miguel Palma conceived for La Maison de La Vache qui Rit. Tripod, model with wooden structure, camera and projectors, variable dimensions.
An Eye in The House (2013)
Curators: Lab’ Bel (Laurent Fiévet and Silvia Guerra).
A house stands within the house. As soon as I discover it, I find myself abruptly propelled outside though I had thought I was already in the coolness of an interior. I am all of a sudden trust backwards even though I thought I’d crossed the threshold a while ago.
At this instant, something seems to have changed inside me. Like Alice or Gulliver, I seem to have grown instantly, made stronger by what I saw inside. It is as if, because of this house, I can see myself in a new light and I realize I’m not exactly what I thought I was.
When I look at you, house, I can almost feel you smile. You are almost my size. I can almost shout to you, speak to you. You are no longer the inanimate object, a place where I thought I could seek shelter. Instead, you are a part of me, something I can fix my gaze on; we can see eye to eye.
Now that I move even closer, my gaze dislocates. It appears separately, without my realizing it. With each movement, it considers me and each of my reactions even more attentively. When I lean forward, watching you and gazing deep into your eyes, when my pupils are reflected in your pupils like a pattern in a pattern, my gaze is thrown off-kilter, changes direction, and it begins to follow me. Meanwhile, it externalizes itself in order to scrutinize me and even attempts to absorb me.
My gaze suddenly sees how the house envelops the house. It surrounds me and closes in on me. And everything changes again to its opposite while my gaze appears in front or behind me. I change from very big to very small. From the outside to the inside. I returned to where I thought I no longer was, but not exactly in the same manner that I thought I’d been the first time I found myself inside the house.
The point of view and the scales readjust around me, as if my eye movements guided them. It is as if the way I look at myself and at you allow me to modify them, bringing to the forefront around me a strangeness that I hadn’t yet seen. Or at least in a more complicated way than I considered before.
And if what I’d seen or learned was more complicated than I thought? And if I saw what I had believed to see and it allowed me to see what I hadn’t completely seen and there are still things to see despite what I had already seen – even more to learn than what I’d thought I’d observed.
It is as if time and space redefined themselves through my vision, altered and telescoped into the abyss of my gaze: this playful gaze that, as long as I look at you, makes me bigger and shrinks over and over again ?, teaching me as much about what I see as who I am.
Miguel Palma lives and works in Lisbon. His works investigate various questions concerning technology development, ecology, power relations, perception, childhood worlds, and our obsession with machines. He also produces drawings, sculptures, multimedia installations, videos, books as well as performances.