Therapy for Optophobia
The project quotes an image that appears in René Descartes’s La Dioptrique in the form of a wall painting of a diagram of stereoscopic vision. The wall painting sits next to a series of antique eyeglasses and texts. Each set of glasses has a miniature painting made directly on the lenses and the glasses are presented for the viewer to try on. Each set of spectacles, contains an image of bodies subjected to state and military violence directly or indirectly linked to Germany. The glasses contain images of the decapitated heads of the Nama who were interned in concentration camps, worked to death, starved and subjected to scientific experimentation; Polish and Jewish survivors and victims of WWII concentration camps and victims of US/British drone attacks in northern Pakistan. Germany is the largest contributor of troops to NATO in the war effort in Afghanistan and it represents German's first foreign military commitment since WWII. The work for me was about difficult histories relating to historical forms of trauma that we would rather not see. The project is about literalizing the performance of vision.