Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams
Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams is a video installation about not seeing. Over several months, I photographed people who frequent the Forest Cafe above the gallery. I then project the images life-sized in a video, and using a perceptual phenomenon known as change blindness, I swap out details until each person is transformed into another without the viewer noticing.
We believe we see others, that we recognise their unique physical traits and their personality expressed through their appearance. But our minds donʼt work that way. If we can look at people and barely notice them change into others right before our eyes, what does that say about how we really see them?
While primarily about not truly seeing people, Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams is also a statement about being seen; the awkwardness of looking someone in the eye, the fear of giving too much away or allowing your gaze to linger too long.
In front of the viewer are images of people they may know, who may be in the cafe upstairs or even in the gallery with them, but they arenʼt real. They are amalgamations of one person and another, just as they might appear in dreams, and they are hollowed out. There is no “them” inside.
Does that free the viewer to stare at them, or does it make them uncomfortable?