본문 바로가기
  • Home

Gaze of Surveillance: The Film and Video Installation of Ann-Sofi Siden

Hyesook Jeon 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Ann-Sofi Sidén(1962-)is Swedish artist who have combined performance and video/film under the influence of Conceptual Art since 1980s. Her works and her portrayals of human mind resemble research projects into the history of mentality, where the recurring subjects are vulnerability, exposure, surveillance and control. She seeks out the hidden conflicts and frictional twilight zone of our contemporary power structures. Her works treat with concepts such as normality, abnormality and grasp on reality. This essay threats with the surveillance and control in Sidén's works. Several of her works calls into question our concept of control and observation and its antitheses. They are video installations such as "Who Told the Chambermaid?"(1999), "It's by Confining One's Neighbor That One is Convinced of One's Own Sanity I, II"(1994-5), "Would a Course of Deprol Have Saved van Gogh's Ear?"(1996), and a film "QM, I Think I Call her QM"(1997). These are based on the discourse about the power and knowledge of Michel Foucault. The video installation "Who Told the Chambermaid?"manages to transform one's experience of the entire museum apparatus at first glance, both in the case of the viewer's visual apparatus and in tue museum's organizational exhibitive structure. The thematization of hidden infrastructures and power relationships inside an apparently 'neutral' exhibition space has been one of art's greatest ambitions in the last few years. In it we can see a contribution to the unmasking of power mechanism. The installation "It's by Confining One's Neighbor That One is Convinced of One's Own Sanity I, II" tells the story of real-life of Alice E. Fabian, a psychiatrist of New York who lived and worked alone in the townhouse, where she gradually developed a paranoia that seems sprung from the security-paranoia of McCarthy era. And the fictional figure of QM(the Queen of Mud) has been with Sidén since the late eights. She is something of a symbolic figure that contains both a creation story and a science fiction who shows all signs of being of the female gender, has both mammal features and reptilian mud-covered skin. In the film "QM, I Think I Call her QM", QM meets with the story of Dr. Fabian. The film in which fact and fiction are merged, records how she treats her as prisoner, pet, patient, and even estranged daughter, and how she use the surveillance media. The mechanism of media that the artist uses for accusing surveillance and control, would exercise the very surveillance and control again on the viewers. It is the core of this essay that is grasping the psychological meaning of action of media(camera, video, film).

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.