Watch Me


Friday, 22. September 2023 - 17:00


22/09/2023 to 17/11/2023
esc mkl Watch Me Zhe Wang

In her artistic practice, media artist Zhé Wang deals with the media of photography, video, drawing, and immersive audio and video installations. The artist aims to develop specific spaces with her works in order to stimulate reflection on socio-politically relevant issues. In doing so, Wang primarily addresses topics such as language and its political implications, surveillance capitalism, and human emotions. Taking an ideology-critical perspective, Wang's installations develop a view of the world through the lens of an aesthetic experience. In doing so, Wang also references philosophical arguments from phenomenology: between looking at the world and looking at oneself - because if the world is what we perceive but we all perceive something else, then what is the world?

In Watch Me, Wang developed a video installation that explores the relationship between the observed and the observed in relation to a screen. In this way, three levels of seeing and being seen are negotiated. Between privacy and surveillance, the artist plays with the uncomfortable phenomenon of feeling safe but monitored at the same time and tries to decipher these levels, to dissolve them, to make them aesthetically tangible.


In the installation, the silhouette of a woman first becomes clear via a video projection - through VR glasses, a video from the first-person perspective of the protagonist becomes tangible (I Watch) - in that we can experience the scenery from her perspective. This is followed by another video in which it quickly becomes clear that we are now seeing the protagonist again, in whose skin we were before.

At this moment, the scene that was still perceptible to us before as our perspective becomes a kind of distanced space.

Actually, from those high vantage points, we should be able to recognize the cameras that are filming the woman in the shower - but we don't find them.

Are the cameras already too small to detect them at all? Far too often, videos in which privacy is massively violated are shot unknowingly and distributed on corresponding platforms on the net. Despite criminal prosecutions in Germany, for example, where secretly filming and distributing videos is an invasion of privacy, videos produced in this way continue to circulate.


Watch Me is a video installation that explores the concept of surveillance and privacy in the age of Big Data, examining the conflicting feelings of unease and security from different perspectives. As personal privacy becomes a commodity, the work explores how cultural values and national security contribute to varying degrees of surveillance in society. The film installation aims to stir the emotions of visitors by depicting the experience of watching and being watched from different angles.

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