Giardini Marinaressa, Venice, Italy 2017
Biennale di Venezia: PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders, Giardini Marinaressa (catalogue p.567)
The installation Evil Eye consists of two parts: an oversized hand and two human figures hidden behind it. The figures have both female and male sexual characteristics like breasts or a penis.
The large hand is lifted in the typical gesture to stop somebody as we know from warning signs or the hand as a symbol of protection against the "evil eye". In contrast to the symbol of the protecting hand where you often find an eye in the middle of the hand you here find a spyhole.
The line of vision is reversed. The observers peer through the eye and can discover the two figures behind the hand which would otherwise be concealed by it. But the view on the two figures through this eye is distorted. The spyhole also reminds us of the bull's eye of a target and therefore becomes threatening. The visitor can look at the two figures, but remains invisible himself.
Spyholes make only one way of viewing possible and thus the hand takes on an ambiguous meaning. On the one hand it offers a seeming protection against the "evil eye", on the other hand it creates a space in which the figures are exposed to the looks of others and thus their difference is underlined. Is it possible that the two figures are not meant to be protected against the evil eye, but that the viewers are supposed to be protected against the differences of transgender human beings? Does the installation thus expose the social phobias directed at them?