Philosopher Jean Baudrillard warned, “we breathe an ether of floating images that no longer bear a relation to any reality whatsoever”. * While much of modern life is mediated through technology, this statement has different connotations when applied to how we experience art. Looking at artwork via documentation or Internet is a common occurrence – most of us will see more art in this manner than in person – but for artist Josefina Posch, there is a risk of losing the significant, firsthand experience when we accept this complacent viewer-ship. As Josefina explains, we encounter the “IRL as opposed to the real “. In her installation at Röda Sten, she controls our engagement as viewers so that we are aware of the act of looking. The inside of a freestanding, wooden pentagon is closed to us except for small portholes on each side, which we can see through if we kneel down – an act that is simultaneously voyeuristic and submissive. Inside are life-size, idolized forms of a man and a woman made of silicone, which looks similar to flesh, and viewing them feels intimate and forbidden. The sculptures are bathered in ultraviolet light, which the artist chose because it does not register on the RGB color scale used by (digital) photographic devices, and therefore there can be no true reproduction. Near the installation is a video showing close-ups of the figures, a vantage point we cannot have access to, and it encapsulated the frustration and limitations of the mediated experience of an art object.
by Laura Mott, Clouds of Witness catalogue text
* Jean Baudrillard, Simulations, trans. Paul Foss, Paul Patton, Philip Beitchman (New York: Semiotext, 1983), p.11.