EXHIBITION OF WORK BY EMANUEL MATHIAS – PRIMATOLOGIST / ON CHOOSING AN APPROPRIATE DISTANCE
St Thomas Gallery
As part of his project Primatologist / On Choosing an Appropriate Distance, the artist accompanied a group of primatologists and ethnologists on a research trip to Indonesia. Through observing the observers, the researchers themselves became the object of investigation, one which can be used to pose the question to what extent a complex research process in the field can be made visible using artistic means. The main thesis of the work is that a new form of perception arises in the cinematic reproduction of an observed situation, which makes use of a synchronized, simultaneous portrayal of various perspectives on the same event, a new form which dissolves the hierarchical relationship between the observer and the observed. The work aims to place the usually invisible observer (the researcher) as well as the observer of that observer (the artist) at the centre of attention, through the investigation and appropriation of scientific methods, such as those used to observe modes of behaviour in the wild (nature, jungle), as well as through research into the personal archives of primatologists.