Torch In The Dark

Photosensitive Negatives, LED light 8 by 12 inches (50 prints)

2018

This work investigates the importance of discourse to an individual’s identity, the construction of social relationships, the interpretation of psychological processes, and the creation of meaning.

In the work [Torch in the Dark], the viewer becomes part of discourse and is therefore a subject, blending in and becoming part of the process where a narrative is constructed, instead of viewing a conceived narrative from the lofted perspective of a typical viewer.

‘Torch in the Dark’ room serving as ‘The Self as Context’; images are illuminated when the viewer shines the light at his or her discretion. Because the light source is unchanging, the action of illuminating reflects to the self as context. This viewing of the images from the viewer’s standpoint illustrates a narrative that has been deciphered and is being established by the viewer’s own context projecting itself to the discourse.

The work also acts as a strong euphemism of how individuals gain knowledge as the action of shining a light source on parts of images and then constructing their own narrative as touched upon by the principles of Gestalt Psychology. Understandably, this gives rise to ‘Single stories’, as we look at the work from a single, narrow perspective, symbolic of the light source in the hands of the viewer.

The work defies the conventional relationships that the artist and the viewer have with the work. Here the viewer plays a key role in the development of discourse, while the artist does not want to restrict or bias the viewer by providing them with an already conceived narrative. On the contrary, the artist is interested in experimenting with the idea of a new discourse forming after being injected with the narrative of the viewer, as part of the process.