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Jeffrey Shaw «Viewpoint» | Viewpoint (Standpunkt)
Jeffrey Shaw, «Viewpoint», 1975
Viewpoint (Standpunkt) | Photography | © Jeffrey Shaw

 Jeffrey Shaw

«This work created a collage of fictional events within a museum space (Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 9th Biennale de Paris, 1975) by making projected images of the events appear contiguous with the real space and actual situations. The work was constituted by two structural elements: an optical viewing console and a large retro-reflective projection screen. The viewing console was a wood construction which housed a pair of automated slide projectors. A semi-transparent mirror in this console constituted both a window which the viewers could look through, and a reflective surface which directed the projected images onto the screen. The screen itself had a speical surface coating which directed all the light projected onto it back to the projection source. as a consequence the projected image could only be seen through the viewing console—from any other position in the room the screen was a plein grey surface. [...] these images showed exactly that part of the museum room hidden by the screen, creating a seamless continuity between the virtual and actual spaces. Visitors walking by the screen were unaware they had entered and become part of the visual space of the projected image.
Twelve different events had been staged and photographed in the same museum area prior to the exhibition. These projected events werde programmed in slides sequences which constituted a synoptic animation of these events.[...] The physical reconstitution of past events with documentary sequences of photography was both persuasive and equivocal, as the forced concurrence of two time frames created a simultaneous congruity and contrariety of past and present situations.
Whenever a visitor stepped onto the base of the viewing console, one of the 12 slide sequences was triggered. These projected events showed various occurrences in the museum such as a visitor who made a bed for himself on a museum bench and then went to sleep on it; the projection screen itself being built up and gradually blocking the view of the museum space behind it; a visitor who was seen walking up to the museum window and smashing it with a pickaxe [...or] the projected colour image of the room crumpling like paper and leaving behind a black and white image of the room.»

(source: Jeffrey Shaw – a user’s manual. From Expanded Cinema to Virtual Reality, Anne Marie Duguet/Heinrich Klotz/Peter Weibel (eds.), Ostfildern 1997, pp. 84f.)