OPA|CITY. GENDER. SPACE. INTERSECTIONS is an immersive experience that casts light on the understanding of the body as a gendered presence in space. Sometimes belonging, sometimes owning, sometimes alienated. Always aware, always strategizing. Often framing, but even more often being framed by the space it inhabits.
Featuring video walls, photographs, objects, text and a gallery of mirrors, OPA|CITY. GENDER. SPACE. INTERSECTIONS evokes a plethora of spaces imagined by convention, inscribed with sexuality, activated by memory, and located at the intersection of image and image-making.
As a scratchy atmospheric sound track fills the gallery, two pre-edited video loops titled “The Ideal/the Idealised” and “The Threatened/the Threatening.” explore the linkages between space, morality, perception and stereotyping, primarily of women.
The pre-edited videos are counterpointed by live video feeds that complicate the gallery space. Bringing the outside right into the gallery, blurring the lines between the public and the private, and placing visitors at the intersection of location and dislocation.
Meanwhile, photographs create moments of stillness, encouraging viewers to stop and think. To ponder the what keeps us out within our ‘own spaces’, and conversely how we can ‘belong’ in spaces that are alien, outside, unfamiliar.
These disruptions are furthered by mirrors that create an unpredictable layering of images and perceptions: of the architecture of the gallery itself, the bodies of visitors fragmented into reflections and shadows, movements and action outside the space and the multiple, overlapping images of the video walls themselves.
And fragmented text has the final say!
For more on Vani Subramanian’s work, please visit her website.