Gallery, forcing awareness of voyeurism


Once there were paparazzi. Today, violators of privacy and the serenity of celebrities are perhaps more frequently hackers, or more correctly “crackers”, computer experts who use their skills to break into systems and steal data with the intention to harm, spy or profit. A massive violation of iCloud accounts in summer 2014 affected dozens of international starts like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton within a period of just a few hours. Private pictures were sold using bitcoin transfers with many exchanges involving the bad guys the 4Chan forum. The news spread through the capillaries of the networks with photos bouncing from user to user, constituting an aggravated assault against people who are, at the end of the day, just human beings. Yolanda Dominguez, a Spanish visual artist who for several years has investigated issues involving women, technology and media, has reinterpreted what happened with an installation as simple as it is direct: “Gallery”. In an empty room at Twin Studio & Gallery in Madrid, the artist’s smartphone, supplied with a large photo gallery depicting moments of Dominguez’s everyday life has been freely exposed to spectators, forcing an awareness of their voyeurism. The method deprives the visitor of the oft-used excuse that the media – especially online media – ensures anonymity and any attendant denial of responsibility. This is a simple reflection on how even owning a smartphone can create victims and perpetrators of systematic and morbid violations of privacy. Benedetta Sabatini