Peter Shen / Personal Installation / Lincoln Center, Saatchi Gallery, Neue Nationalgalerie / ISBN 3-85486-2

When first looked at this series of works there are a few relationships that are profoundly clear. It was a performance, where the audience was involved to create an environment where the roles of all were reversed; the performers remained static, whereas the audience moved around to create movement and flow for the performance. Or was it an installation? Where the audience moves to observe the locations, positions and relations between all the performers? This is a matter of a rather different importance, as we look at this series of photographs, we are just another observer of those who were involved with the creation of this book. The clear static pose and dark clothing of the eight performers sets a contrast to all that notice their placements. The static pose and position is maybe first noticed, as in a gallery opening night all move and talk and seek companions. It is unique to find one so still and unmoved by the surroundings; sometime silence is the loudest noise. With the clever deployment of the dark clothing they also blend in with the crowd that surrounds them. The effect is that they become noticeable only when one comes face to face with them, then the attention of the viewer becomes more concentrated when s/he is surprised. When that same person has a repeated experience with another performer, the effect is then doubled as the viewer becomes more interested and wonders if that was the same performer. As can be seen the effects of this changes according to the number of guests that are in the space. The mathematical formula equation is: the quality or form of this experience can be measured against the number of guests that are in place. A clear demonstration of architecture’s ”people flow and spatial effect.” The adjuster positions of the art that is being shown and one being created at the same time create an effect that not only confuses the viewer but also challenges the viewer. This work has the presence of mind to show us what we are too blind to see. We, the viewers are looking at ourselves from a mirror. The reality of the work has questioned our reasons for our actions, not only as the consequences of our actions but intentions by using time as a tool. It challenges us to do two simple things, to actually look with and to see without preconceptions. It leads us to confront reality through an angled reflection, which converges our vision. Alienation of reality and us; us observing ourselves in real time. The toying of this concept is playful yet it asks us some serious questions. The performers are lined and placed in and around the space forms a connection that interacts with the public. One can follow their line of vision to find the next performer and in that order to find all the rest. The linkage of the eight cuts through time and space and forms a virtual space superimposed upon the social interactive and exhibition space. A map that is translucent and subsided then becomes stronger and more defined through time. This work is simple in its idea and execution yet the outcome is more complex and sophisticated then I thought was possible. The simplicity is the attraction, which leads onto deepened thoughts and results, overall the work is just simply beautiful.