Closed-circuit installation, 40" flat screen, webcam, computer
by Yvon Chabrowski and Nicolás Rupcich



On a screen showing the installation space, beholders encounter themselves – as a grayish-black square that marks the position of their face. Following their movements, the squares become larger or smaller depending on the distance from the monitor, increase in blackness, or overlap to produce a painting in greyscale. If the face turns away, the square disappears; if it moves beyond the borders of the recognition-field, however, the square remains in the image as a trace of former presence.

The richness of expression and individual identity that we connect with the face is reduced to the zero-point of the black square. As the icon of Modernity Kazimir Malevich placed it in the position of the religious icon, which, as a “true imprint”, traditionally showed a frontal portrait. In FACES, the frontality of the en face becomes an emblem of today’s control society, in which the “culture of the open face” simultaneously ensures the efficacy of facial recognition algorithms. The performative video work thus mirrors media society’s faith in images: a dialectic between the narcissist self-adulation of the selfie generation and the reduction of the self to correllatable numeric patterns that can be identified by algorithms. But what does the machine actually “recognize”?


Text by Katharina Lee Chichester
Video installation by Yvon Chabrowski and Nicolás Rupcich
Techincal assistance Bert Palm

installation views


La Sombra de la Imagen, solo exhibition @ Galería Concreta - Matucana 100 / Santiago, Chile / 2018

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