by Runa Islam

Stare out (Blink) was originally made as a 3 minute 16 mm film, and it particularly dealt with the ways in which the illusion of something material is communicated by means of film. The lucidity of image and movement depends on our retinal perception. In Stare out (Blink) a photo negative projection of a woman with her eyes wide open is shown. Every now and then this projection is interrupted with a bright, white flash, during which a glimmer of the positive image remains on your retina like a vision, or a persistant after-image. In Gaze of Orpheus (1998) Runa Islam separates the cold engagement of the act of “looking” from fashion and advertising and returns to the mythic origin alluding to the erotic gaze of death. The commercialised image is stripped off, begging the question’ who is looking at whom?’ Installed in a public space and projected in an enlarged size, the work is positioned like an advert compelling the audience to gaze at the back of a blond haired girl, turning around slowly. She returns the gaze only long enough to strike, and then she disappears in the dark.