Vanishing and Becoming
In Pliny's account of the origins of painting, in Leroi-Gourhan's account's
of paleolithic art, in Melanie Klein's psychoanalysis of childhood, in
Gorky's memoir of the first film screenings in Russia, from Plato's cave
to apparatus theory, and from cartography to financial projections, projection
is the key category in which both the origins of visual culture are traced,
and its fatal flaw revealed. Accused of distortion, perspective is frequently,
even predominantly associated with loss, absence and the posthumous world
beyond death. By looking at some examples of the use of projection in
contemporary art to contest the hegemony of the four-square, flat projection,
I want to ask whether the field of projected light has more to offer than
the emulation of the real. Is projection a psychological fantasy of domination?
Is it doomed to reproduce the separation of object and subject? Fantasies
of projected light as weapon may reveal not only a fatal relation of dominance
but a new term in the series subject - object - project.