The Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art 2012 has been awarded to Mikhael Subotzky. His exhibition, “Retinal Shift”, will be coming on 25 July to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in Port Elizabeth directly from the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
Subotzky’s 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist exhibition will centre on a four-channel film installation and further photographic, video and installation works.
“Retinal Shift” investigates the practice and mechanics of looking while not seeing – in relation to the history of Grahamstown, the history of photographic devices and Subotzky’s own history as an artist. The works on show draw on archival portraits from the last century, found surveillance footage and Subotzky’s own photographs from various series’ that are re-contextualized here.
The opening work on show is a self-portrait that Subotzky made with the assistance of an optometrist. High-resolution images of his left and right retinas were placed side by side. “I was fascinated by this encounter. At the moment that my retinas, my essential organs of seeing, were photographed, I was blinded by the apparatus that made the images,” said Subotzky.
Those who did not manage to view the exhibition at the National Arts Festival should not miss out on this opportunity to view Subotzky’s exploration of Grahamstown’s history, our contemporary surveillance society and the artist’s personal attempts to see.
The exhibition will be opening on Wednesday 25 July 2012 at 17:30 for 18:00. The opening speaker will be Dr Heidi Saayman-Hattingh, Lecturer in Applied Design: Photography from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, School of Music Art and Design. All members of the public are invited to attend. Please note parental guidance is advised for younger viewers. For more information, please telephone the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum on 041 506 2000.
The exhibition will be on show until 5 September 2012.