Maurice Benayoun: World Skin




 
  • ©1997, Maurice Benayoun, World Skin

Artist(s):


Collaborators:


Title:


World Skin

Exhibition:


SIGGRAPH 1998: Touchware

Creation Year:


1997

Medium:


CAVE 3D VR Installation

Size:


10' x 10' x 10'

Category:


Installation and Interactive & Monitor-Based

Artist Statement:


Armed with cameras, like so many tourists, we traverse a three-­dimensional space. The landscape is scarred by war-demolished buildings, armed men, tanks and artillery, piles of rubble, the wounded and the maimed. This arrangement of images from different zones and theaters of war depicts a universe filled with mute vio­lence. Audio represents the sound of a world in which to breathe is to suffer. Special effects? Hardly. We, the visitors, feel as though our presence could disturb this chaotic equilibrium, but it is precisely our intervention that stirs up the pain. We are taking pic­tures, and here, photography is a weapon of extinguishment.

The images we record exist for no one any more. Each photographed frag­ment disappears from the screen and is replaced by a black silhouette. With each click of the shutter, a part of the world is extinguished. Each exposure is printed out. As soon as an image is printed to paper, it is no longer visible on the projection screen. All that remains is its eerie shadow, cast according to the viewer’s perspective and concealing fragments of future photographs. The world falls victim to the viewer’s glance, and everyone is involved in its disappearance. The farther we penetrate into this universe, the more strongly aware we become of its infinite nature. And the chaotic elements renew themselves, so that as soon as we recognize them, they recompose themselves once again in a tragedy without end.