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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Room of One's Own
Lynn Hershman

This interactive videodisk/computer installation consists of a stainless steel box placed at eye level with a moveable periscope viewing section which gives a voyeuristic view to a miniature bedroom scene. As the viewer/voyeur focusses on the various objects in the room, rear projected images appear on a one way mirror/wall. The piece is operated by the viewer/participant's eye movement, tracked by a small sensitized camera hidden behind the one way mirror. Depending on where the eye looks, selected images appear in the mirror - rear projected from a videodisk and triggered by signals from the computer. These videodisk images take place in a life-size version of the tiny bedroom set, and in some cases overlay with the set. Only looking oneself in the eye will not trigger a video sequence (Narcissus). Implanted erotic scenes can only be viewed when the viewer does not directly look at them. The viewer is given specific words to repeat, elements of which are then repeated back, slightly changed (echo). These sounds emanate strategically from different areas of the room set, attracting the viewer's gaze. Three actresses act out five short sequences, each showing how women are imprisoned by traditional sexual stereotypes - being undressed with the eyes or escaping virtual advances and expectations. These segments include a reverse strip-tease, a woman imprisoned behind the bars of the bed, a telephone conversation and a collage of traditional images of women.