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Eye Contact is the culmination of a long-term investigation of the landscape of the face. Since 1990 I have been exploring the way the face has moral meaning for us, especially when we read a caption or a story that claims to identify the person's relationship to 'something'. Previously, I worked with painted images based on media images. This work focuses on the photograph and the near-anonymous subject. Since late 1992 I have systematically photographed people with whom I come in contact. There are 1000 images in the series. Many of these images have been used as source images in other works since 1992 e.g. Proposals for Rooms with Columns, Invisible Paintings, After Image and Double Exposure. Each image is 'captioned' with the person's first name, occupation and country of birth. They are mostly unknown people from a wide spectrum of racial and social origins who are instructed to adopt a neutral expression and to close their eyes before being photographed. The fact that their eyes are closed is important - on the one hand not dead or asleep, on the other, not awake, but somewhere in between.

These still images are presented in their final, complete form as a video installation with soundscape. This work was exhibited during 2000 at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Stills Gallery, Sydney (included in the Olympic Arts Festival) and Araluen Galleries in 2001-2002. It won the 2001 Alice Springs Art Prize.


Producer/ director MERILYN FAIRSKYE
Post production  GREG FERRIS @ MSV

Post production partially assisted by The Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, MSV Media Services and DVM International.

Eye Contact was shot on a 35mm still camera, and then scanned into Photoshop. It was post produced in Premiere and Media 100. The soundtrack was produced with Qbase VST

Master tape:
Installation version: DVD
Duration: 40 '
colour with stereo sound
Screen version: Betacam SP Duration 8'17"
colour with stereo sound

(c) 2000  Merilyn Fairskye