Cory Wagner: Personal Panopticon

A mirror-filled installation offers many points of view for self-reflection

Cory Wagner’s Personal Panopticon is all about you. “I want it to be about the awareness of you watching you and you being the judge of yourself,” he says. The installation, all about the idea of self--surveillance, is a three-wall room the size of a small prison cell covered — floor to ceiling — with concave security mirrors (like the ones that keep you from running into oncoming traffic in your parking garage).

The installation takes inspiration from The Panopticon, a prison built in 1785 by German philosopher Jeremy Bentham. “[The Panopticon is] a circular prison where there’s a central guard tower and there’s cells surrounding it and each of the cells has its windows open to the central guard tower, so it only takes one all--seeing eye to patrol hundreds of prisoners,” Wagner explains. When you stand in the center of his installation, the mirrors allow you to see yourself from every angle and see every other angle from that angle. You’re keeping an eye on yourself — and an ear, too. A microphone captures your voice, and it’s played back as an echo. Get a load of yourself, from multiple points of view, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through January 10. Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main. For information, call 713-528-5858 or visit www.lawndaleartcenter.org. Free.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 21. Continues through Jan. 10, 2008

 
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