Safe Distance & Safe Distance: High Ground, Alkovi Gallery Helsinki, 15 May – 5 July 2015
The exhibition presented an edition of Rune Peitersen’s Safe Distance and Safe Distance: High Ground photography series’. Peitersen is an artist based in Amsterdam whose work deals with the thematics of looking in various ways: how we perceive and how we relate our own experience of the world to that of others.
Safe Distance (2014) consists of screen captures from Internet live-stream platforms where people participating in demonstrations share the material they film in real time. The aesthetisized images of Peitersen’s point out the alienated and voyeristic position of the viewer to those events that currently shake the entire global situation. Safe Distance: High Ground (2015) on the other hand recycles the live-videos captured by the drones and copters used in US military operations that have been uploaded to the Internet. In Peitersen’s screen captures, the data normally attached to the image is wiped out leaving intact only the pictorial information. Through this kind of erasing gesture the focus is again turned towards the viewer.
The Safe Distance photography series’ portray two apparently opposite agencies: the self organized movement in the streets and the systematic use of power. By presenting a selection of these two series’ in Alkovi, which as a window vitrine is a part of the public space, we want to reconsider the alleged passivity in the role of the spectator. Especially in the current image overflow, we need to remember that the viewer position is never disengaged.