Mixed Media Turning around the viewer’s perspective

Turning around the viewer’s perspective

Entering the small, dark exhibition room, filled with empty space and sound, the only light is that of the multimedia projection on the wall. You are not alone. This multimedia piece weaves together print images with earthy sound forming a hypnotising space.

A plastered figure of a little princess, appearing as a shadow in the dark, stands in the center of the exhibition. As mesmerised as her audience, she stares fixedly at Christine Dixie’s multimedia exhibition entitled To Be King.Capture 5

Inspired by Diego Velázquez’s painting Las Meninas, and the gallery where it hangs in the Prado museum in Madrid, Dixie’s exhibition re-creates the variety of perspectives of individuals in society. Dixie positions these subjects as part of her exhibition, either as the viewer or as subjects to be viewed.

“The multiple viewpoints within Las Meninas serve to highlight the unsteady position individuals have in the world,” says Dixie. The king — or those in power — creates a system or order which controls our position through perceptions.

Dixie illustrates this by positioning the cast of the princess from the Velázquez painting in the audience, to join them in observing her work. Occasionally, subjects in the projected art stare out at the audience, creating uncertainty between the viewer and the viewed.

The work is a somewhat unorthodox family portrait, featuring Dixie’s own family members as the subject matter. Her daughter represents the Las Meninas princess; her husband is Don José Nieto Velázquez, the queen’s chamberlain; and Dixie is the artist, Diego Velázquez, who also appears in the painting.

With this exhibit, Dixie ventures out of her comfort zone of printmaking. “Every exhibition demands a different medium and a different form of expression,” she says.

— Athina May

To Be King, Alumni Gallery, Albany Museum, daily from 9am to 5pm

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