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Jacek
Smolicki

I to Eye (2011)

Visiting the old town of Jerusalem, especially upon entering its arabic section, one can immediately spot a countless number of CCTV camera lenses and feel the gaze of their hidden operators. Over the two week period of my stay stay there in the summer 2010, I tried to specify the number of those lenses by walking every morning and marking their steadfast existence on a tourist map of the old town. By the numbers which mark their metal shells and racks on which they lurk like vultures, I estimated the number of cameras to around 400. My next step was to confront them - eye to eye, or more precisely - the eye of my small, compact camera into the eye of the surveilling lens. The very moment when my face partially covered by the body of my small compact camera was reflected in the lens suspended high above the city brought to mind the biblical confrontation of David and Goliath. Even though I expected to fail against this representation of control, I entered the confrontation in an attempt to symbolically restore the public character of the public space. Through a provocative gesture of 'shooting' the CCTV cameras I tried to balance their totalitarian weight.


A solo exhibition comprising selected photographs accompanied by a surveillance/video installation took place at Gallery Florianska 22 in Krakow in March 2011.
The project was also part of the Young Art Biennale in Moscow in July-August 2012.