Meet Sally Gutierrez Dewar, member of the selection committee of eyephoneography #1

(Muy pronto disponible en español)

After meeting Darren Milligan, we now meet the second member of the selection committee for the inaugural show of eyephoneography.

Who are you?

Sally Gutierrez Dewar, a visual artist working in the hybrid field between contemporary art and documentary.

After my M.A Art studies in Madrid I lived in Berlin for eight years and participated in the 90s art movement in the former East Berlin. Although I’m now based in Madrid I still live in Berlin every summer for a couple of months, as it’s a city I love. Since I got back from NY, where I did a Masters in Media Studies at the New School University, taught there and participated in the Whitney Study Program, I’ve travelled to South Africa and the Philippines, where I’ve made several videos and taken part in exhibitions and film festivals.

I’ve given many talks and workshops in Universities and Art Centres and I’ve been a jury member for several grants and festivals. Tapologo, co-directed with my sister Gabriela is our first feature length documentary feature film.  It has received eight international awards, which made us very happy, although what makes us happiest is that it’s being used all over the world for AIDS and gender advocacy programmes.

Gabriela and I are currently working on two new projects based on ideas of new models of citizenship, language and post-colonial relationships. This coming Fall I’m going to the Philippines to work on one of these projects, and I’ll also be teaching Contemporary Art in the European University of Madrid.

Why did you accept to be a part of eyephoneography?

Besides personally owning an iPhone and having become quite an addict- I’m interested in the impact these and other technologies are having on our expanded field of perception. I believe smart-phones are part of a global reshaping of our connection with reality at a collective level. It’s not just the way they’re becoming increasingly embedded in the texture of our everyday lives, creating whole new realms of experience we never believed could be so indispensable, but also the depth and the far-reaching consequences of the transformations they are bringing about.

Which is your favorite image from each of the four photographers included in this first show and why?

Greg Schmigel, Kimcee break

Everything that’s important in this picture can be defined negatively. It is what does not strike your attention at first, what is not in the foreground, what does not take up most of the visual field, what is not in the center, pictorially or politically: a small woman in a corner.

Marco La Civita, Human shelving

I’m theoretically and artistically interested in a whole genealogy of architectural/ social photography where this picture would fit perfectly. The aridity of architectural modernism is conveyed in full force, filling the whole frame in a frontal assault of bleakness and pure geometry. The iteration of windows without human presence is a compelling statement.

Miss Pixels, Getting down

Great colour composition: the palette of a Van Gogh street café in an indoors stairway with some unidentified downtown in the background. I’m fascinated by that glimpse of the city, suddenly encountered as you’re walking down the stairs, framing the interplay of the private and the public, the inside and the outside.

Sion Fullana, The Rest of the Ladies

Powerful composition, strong lines, capturing a dialectics of movement and stillness. I like the enigmatic lady in the platform, and the way she is aligned in a V-shape with the policewomen leaning against the wall, who seem to be buttressing it, materializing and ironically re-appropriating the phallic metaphor about the pillars of authority, while the blur of pure speed in the background undermines the permanence of it all.

How long have you known of mobile photography?

As I was walking in the streets of NY one day in 1998 I passed by a carpet store. I stopped and looked at the display in the shop window; suddenly one of the patterns in a carpet seemed to move. In a flash of amazement I saw it was a live cat, emerging into my perception like a figure in a visual puzzle. I wanted to seize this ephemeral vision and share it with a friend who loved cats- but at that time only e-mail was available. Why did we always have to send texts and exchange words when so often what we wanted to transmit was an image? How could I transmit the vision of the-carpet-becoming-the-cat? I remember I longed for some sort of device – not available yet – that could allow me to take a picture and send it instantly to someone.

Where do you think mobile photography is going?

Other technologies have had an impact on what could be called our modes of seeing, but smartphones and social networks are radically mutating the whole sphere of visual thinking, shifting it from the individualistic gaze to communities of vision. You take pictures that you post in this or that social space in accordance with criteria that define your belonging to a certain group- that means that visual markers define the group’s social boundaries- it’s not simply a matter of who can access which photographs: the which and the who are defined in terms of a community of inter-subjective perception.

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