Video, HD, b&w, 20 min / 2011
In this video, which was shot in Brussels former colonial museum, the Royal Museum for Central Africa, the observing gaze of the museum visitors towards african masks is filmed from the perspective of a showcase. The visitor himself becomes the object of observation, his gaze is responded, the mute object turns into an active subject. An inversion of the asymmetric gaze regime, which usually dominates the relation between ethnological object and viewer. Due to the reflections and shadow apparitions of the showcase, the visitors themselves appear like phantoms or spiritual beings, whose faces diffuse with the masks. Their projections onto african objects literally reflects back.
The basis for this video is a very short scene of the anticolonial film Statues also die. In this film, shot in 1953 by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais in Brussels Royal Museum for Central Africa,the exhibition visiors are filmed from the perspective of a museums showcase, looking directly into the camera.