What is a labyrinth? A form of incarceration, a person inside can have only one agenda.
A maze of unpainted panels, six feet high, fills the gallery. Each triangular space has three open corners. The floor is painted either yellow or blue. Eight television monitors, perched above the labyrinth walls, broadcast your image from one of two video cameras in the ceiling. You watch yourself move from one camera’s range to the other. You walk left, your image walks to the right. From blue to yellow. You learn to use the image on the monitors to help you navigate through the dissected space.
The central issue in a labyrinth is presence, it is more important than image. The observer goes into the maze (labyrinth) and can only find the way out with the aid of monitors. The cables that hang overhead are like Ariadne’s threads.
What is a labyrinth? A form of incarceration, a person inside can have only one agenda. Those aspects of the stimulus situation may be repressed and may reappear under altered designations. The labyrinth is also a game, a theatrical proposition into a charmed microcosm with another set of rules and scale and hierarchy.
What is the relationship between the participant (audience) and the video monitor? The monitor is a guide like the mythical Virgil. The remote control exerted by the electronic device upon the human being, in an environment which is mechanistic. Which conditions promote what sort of conceptual attitude towards oneself and toward the situation? Imprisonment presents a form of disowning responsibility, one must assume the role by rules decided by the master. The logic of the imprisoned is one of self-rationalization. How can I sell myself? How can I save myself? Subject to the monitor I must find a form of ingratiating myself, I must find a benevolent moment in the electronic circuit. I must align myself to the ‘other.’ In this instance, the ‘other’ is a monitor and its view of the environment. The situation suspends a human reality and because the participant is the ghost inside the machine, a repression of concern creates a lacuna of ‘normalcy.’
Another issue in the labyrinth is direction. The participant must locate himself in the monitor and then rotate his direction to compile a reality.
Buky Schwartz was born in Israel in 1932. Schwartz was trained as a sculptor and moved to London in 1959 to work with sculptural directions at the St. Martin’s School of Art. His sculptures are an interplay between physical presences and the illusory appearances. He uses different material such as wooden timbers and mirrors. He also uses video constructs with his sculptures.