Tenome ‘Eyes of the Hand’
Aaron Christopher Rees
Opening 04.10.18 6-8pm
Artist Talks 26.10.18 6-7pm
Tenome ‘Eyes of the Hand’ is a participatory work utilizing wearable home security cameras, a “VR” helmet and the screen to explore altered perception. It invites the user to re-encounter their environment with eyes in their hands. The work achieves this with a modified VR headset that the user wears while holding out of the counter security cameras meant to be held with one’s own hands. Security cameras were chosen to point to the ubiquitous self surveillance that permeates contemporary life. This creates an effect of disjointed vision that allows the participant to experience what it would be like to sense sight via different means. This dynamic of dislocating perception is inspired by the Japanese monster Tenome, a creature that is seen holding their eyeballs like the users of this project do. The act of inhabiting this figure allows for a disruption into how we sense and decode our surroundings. It also generates an insight into how media and technology mediates our experience of the world. Indeed, Tenome ‘Eyes of the Hand’ extends the artist’s interest in lens based media and elaborates on core motifs in his practice, such as the hands as conduits of perception and ocular dynamics. Another recurrent symbol in Aaron Christopher Rees’ ouvre is the X target, which is often marked on walls. Often meant to symbolise focusing and negation, in particular the nullification of the image, the X reappears in this exhibition as a tool that enables the user to recalibrate their vision. Pointing the “eyeballs” on their hands to an X on the wall that becomes legible once the re-purposed security cameras are synchronised. More broadly, the work explores the limitations of technology, phenomenology and affect.
Aaron Christopher Rees is a multidisciplinary artist who recycles images to consider how technology and the act of picture-making mediates our experience of the world. His practice is concerned with affect, phenomenology and abstraction, with recent work taking form as site-specific installations where screens interpolate space.
Recent exhibitions include: Conditional Surplus, as a part of Channels VIdeo art Festival (2017); Another Space, Testing Grounds, Melbourne (2017); Inherent Vice, Nicholas Projects, Melbourne (2017); Speculative Foundations, Sutton Gallery Project Space, Melbourne (2016); Impressions of Mars (with Olivia Koh); Visual Bulk, Hobart (2016); Transference, Bus Projects, Collingwood (2016); Weeping Willow, LON Gallery, Collingwood (2016); The Bathhouse Show, Space Space Gallery, Tokyo (2016); Is/Is not, West Space, Melbourne (2016); 1/60; 5/5.0, TCB, Melbourne (2015); In the Epoch of the Near and Far, Grey Gardens Projects, Fitzroy (2015). In 2015 Rees was awarded the VCA Emerging Artist Prize, the Orloff Family Charitable Trust Award and the Omnus Framing Award. Prior to this, he was the recipient of a Majilis Encouragement Award, 2014; The Blair Trethowan TCB Art Inc. Award, 2014; Melbourne University Arts Grant, 2014; and The Framed Award at the CCP Kodak Salon, 2012.