Barbara Astman, Seeing and Being Seen, 1994-1995
The sense of being watched while we are looking at the work is thought provoking, since it parallels our life experience. Astman was considering how we view others, how they view us, and how we view ourselves – at different points of our lives – and decided to explore these eye images as metaphors for this process of seeing and being seen.
Seeing and Being Seen utilizes images of human eyes, either appropriated or sampled from her personal collection. Arranged in pairs, but often-mismatched ones, the eyes are collaged and shot as Polaroids. These images were scanned and output onto large sheets of frosted mylar, creating works that are elegant, sensual, and haunting.