praesentia, ae, f. Alex Mayall

Solo exhibition in Lumen Crypt Gallery. Info from gallery's website:

PRAESENTIA // ALEX MAYALL

The exhibition explores the relationship between the film and the viewer. Mayall questions the current approach to viewing and examines its psychological, theological and cultural implications. The long story of human interaction with film is being retold throughout a series of brand new, experimental installations. Viewers are encouraged to challenge their own perceptions, while being introduced to various modes of viewing, ranging from ancient concept of catharsis to the idea of movie therapy. Highlights include the installation called ‘Touch me’, where the projected onto the water surface digital hand, does not touch the hand of the participating viewer. This false sense of presence recollects the first experiences of human’s interaction with the camera that were associated with ‘the collapse of rationality’, the spectacle and suspected of having a supernatural quality.

Alex Mayall (Alex is my English short name, and Mayall is my husband's surname). The work focuses on the idea of the relationship between technology and mind-body. It combines influences from British culture, psychology and anthropology. 

'Touch me',

video installation, projection onto a fire pit, 1' loop running on HD mini-projector, 2019

Projected onto fire pit video depicts a repeated act of touching the screen hand. The action of touching the screen is barely visible, however one can notice that the hand in the video does not burn, even though it is touching the fire. The projected onto filled with water fire pit video, creates a reflection. Touching the water in the round object reminds of an interaction with catholic aspersorium. The projected onto the water surface digital hand, does not touch the hand of a human. This false sense of presence recollects the first experiences of the human's interaction with the camera that were associated with 'the collapse of the rationality', the spectacle and were suspected of having supernatural quality.

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Ritual,

video installation, 5 channels video, 5 screens, 2019 

The installation consists of 5 screens, tablets create the circle for the viewer, to watch the video from within. The work was inspired by the idea of cinema therapy and viewers' reactions to watching movies. The viewers descriptions of feelings are often similar to the ones experienced during the various rituals. Ranging from the ancient concept of catharsis to masochism.

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Silent film, 

video installation, video 1:30 loop on HD LED TV screen in the centre, located between two plinths with two silver candle holders placed on top with two burning candles , 2019

The idea behind this video, relates to the interdependence between the violence of looking and one's relationship with the Other. The activity of watching movies seems to be a lonely practice, the viewer is gazing at objects like tv or computer screen. However, at the same time the theories of identification and the gaze come into play, without the actual presence of 'the Other'. In the theory of the gaze, the necessary condition for the gaze's existence is the presence of 'the Other'. The video piece focuses on the sensation of somebody else's presence as the basis for the exploration of the relationship with the Other. 

Constellations,

video installation, two 1' loop videos projected onto mirrors, running on mini HD projectors, 2019

The viewers see themselves in a mirror, with the projected onto it video. The reflection is disrupted by the presence of someone/something else. The mirror casts a shadow behind the participant. This idea plays with the process of identification and its repercussion.