The Eyes of others (2002)

( 2002. eBent'02, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona )

fotos: Juan Pardo, Carlos Pina
vídeo: Manuel Morales, Carlos Pina

The actuator, barefoot and dressed in black, has its head wrapped in a long strip of knotted black cloth, which conceals it completely. Two mirrors-eyes occupy the place that corresponds to the real eyes.

The actuator initiates the action in the courtyard, moves slowly, tries to know the way but extends her hands and looks for reference points to find it, stumbling against walls, doors and spectators, entering the room. Slowly he slides among the audience, touches them, looks with his blind eyes at the eyes of others, in reality it is the others who see themselves in their blind mirror-eyes. He wanders for a while until he reaches the Bellamátic, the vending machine around which the evening's actions revolve.

In front of the machine, the actuator slowly detaches itself from the mirror-eyes and inserts them into a plastic bag. Blindly, it opens the machine and slowly looks for a free place among the products that are offered and deposits the bag. She closes the machine and retraces the path until she returns to the courtyard. Once there, slowly, he unrolls the cloth that covers his head until he is free and that is when, shaking his head as if to wake up, he opens his eyes again.

Who looks, who sees, who is looked at

The eyes of others. Taking your eyes off. The others are the only ones who see thanks to mirrors. There is a blinded round trip, the round trip with the eyes of the mirrors, the eyes of the others, the round trip without eyes.

There is a lack of definition, I am seeing with eyes that do not see and others look at me but see themselves in my eyes. I ask myself how the concept of person is constructed, oneself and the other, I reflect on the gaze, on who is gazing and on who is being gazed at.

There is also an ironic part, putting your eyes in the vending machine someone could buy them with money. And so it was, someone took hold of the eyes almost immediately. And whoever bought the eyes, what did they get? And what did anyone who didn't buy them get? Who bought them, bought an intangible, that image, that black figure, a shadow, with blind eyes that were the eyes of others, did he buy his own image? And the machine becomes a symbol of the monstrous. What are we doing with our lives?

There is a fascination for the fact that the content offered by the machine, the consumism, makes it possible to acquire the intangibility of the action. The machine phagocytes action and meaning, reducing it to something that can be bought. And once it has been bought, what can they do with it?

To have bought the eyes is to have bought blindness, to have bought nothing. What made sense in action was pure action, the elements, the figure, the eyes, the machine, the action itself. Once the action is finished and the eyes are bought, what remains is the reduction to the absurdity of life.