Work by Steve McQueen is included in the exhibition A Biography of Daphne at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne.
A Biography of Daphne revisits the Classical myth of Daphne as the starting point for an investigation of trauma and metamorphosis, symbiosis and entanglement in contemporary art.
The exhibition explores the integrity and vulnerability of bodies, their performative or prosthetic enhancements, and the alliances they enter – across species or registers of representation – that open identity to the possibility of a radical othering.
In Steve McQueen’s film Charlotte, we see the eye of British actor Charlotte Rampling in extreme close-up while McQueen’s finger moves around it, poking and caressing it, pulling at the tender skin of her eyelid and briefly brushing the eyeball.
Rampling’s eye readjusts to the different intensities of McQueen’s ocular violence, much as the camera lens refocuses on the scene, to grasp the image of an act of aggression that blinds its victim, unable to see either the attack or the apparatus that records it.
A Biography of Daphne is now re-opening to the public on Tuesday 2 November and will continue to 14 November.