William G. Staples has written on the relationship of the security camera with the desire to be exposed:
As a society, we have become obsessed with the gaze of the videocam, not only because we perceive that it brings us 'security' but also because we are fascinated by the visual representation of ourselves. Today, we are very much, a culture of voyeurs
In the fine arts, secrecy, exposure, and surveillance have long been major themes. In Marcel Duchamp's posthumous work Étant donnés: 1 la chute d'eau, 2 le gaz d'éclairage
, the viewer becomes a voyeur and peeps in at naked bodies. In Sophie Callle's early work, she tracks men from Paris to Venice, while being tailed by a detective. The other work, she let the detective tracked herself hired by her mother. Ann-Sofi Siden, in a series of works using hotel surveillance cameras, works with the perspective of the guest being observed. Dan Graham sets up two rooms where the viewers can glimpse little reflections of the image of themselves observing themselves. The female Chinese artist Cui Xiu Wen uses a spy camera to document a women's bathroom. Walid Raad/Atlas Group's various works about Lebanon use spy camera images of camps and parks. A 2002 exhibition by ZKM surveyed the many works on the theme of surveillance proced by artists since the 1970s, including some of the works cited above..
Peep Show will contain various moving image works by contemporary artists on the theme of privacy and scopophilia, incorporating both aesthetic and political perspectives. It will be an online exhibition viewed using the new peep box for satisfying visual desires, the PC. The exhibition aims to reveal the ways artists are interrogating secrecy, spectacle, scopophilia, and surveillance as part of their artistic practice.
Written by Hitomi Hasegawa
English translation and edit by Paul Roque