This is a fascinating read for artists and interested people exploring the notion of how we look at things. This book is part philosophy part ‘how to’ by presenting various subjects from the mundane to the obscure and challenges, dissects, and questions how we look at them. Usually each section has a scientific reading of the subject coupled by a broader philosophical assertion to the subject.
Whether about culverts or the human shoulder, I was able to find key take aways that apply to my own work.
I am currently developing a series on ballet dancers. After reading the Elkin’s text I am less interested in the standard ways the ballerina is represented and consequently ‘looked at’. I therefore, am presenting the ballerina in moments of repose and necessity. The dancer tying her shoe, or making sure her bun is proper, or perhaps even backstage nervously waiting her call. These are the moments that are not meant to be seen but are an actual reality to the discipline. The question is how can I use the medium to communicate the feeling of this reality, and how can I challenge the viewer to use their eyes a little differently.