26 November 2020 – 25 January 2021
I Like to Watch is an online exhibition of short film and moving image works by artists, filmmakers and independent porn-makers using the camera to explore desire, voyeurism, pleasure, connection and intimacy in the digital age.
If cinema is the “pervert’s medium” (Zizek, ofc), then there is no better way to explore our collective desires than watching moving image. In ‘Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema’, Laura Mulvey argued that “cinematic codes create a gaze, a world, and an object, thereby producing an illusion to cut the measure of desire”. But while Mulvey argues this gaze is oppressive – structured by the unconscious of the patriarchy – I Like to Watch proffers an alternative use of cinema’s innate scopophilia: one that can liberate and unlock repressed desire, pleasure and alternative expressions of sexuality.
The artists and filmmakers in this exhibition use film as a medium to express longing, (dis)connection, fantasy, repulsion, tenderness, celebration, ambiguity, self-expression and autoeroticism. Rather than punishing cinematic depictions of pleasure, it seeks to explore ways in which pleasure can give access to power, but also accepts the complex nature of this pleasure and its relationship to vulnerability and abjection.
The featured films in I Like to Watch seek to restore agency to traditionally desired subjects by putting them in front and behind the camera and exploring the liberating potential of perversion.
Exhibition dates: 26th November 2020 – 25th January 2021
*Lina Bembe screening only from 26th – 30th November 2020
Curated by Rosa Abbott / Liquid
︎ View the online exhibition here