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Art Show: Peep Show

Prospectus and Entry Instructions

Exhibit Entries accepted from 5/19/2003 to 6/11/2003.

Banner for Peep Show art show



Consciously or not, we have all participated in this activity at one time or another. Whether we have looked in lighted windows while on our evening walk or just watched the people go by from behind our sunglasses; it is an experience we all share.

What is it about watching that we find so tantalizing? is it not being seen? Is it participating vicariously in another world? Or is it what we don't see when we peer into someone else's world? In this age of stripper poles,"Girls Gone Wild," the farce of "reality" tv, and webcams, the subtly of observing from behind the curtain has slipped out of the foreground but hasn't lost it potency. Burlesque is making a comeback, complete with fans and long gloves. People watching is still a sport at the corner Starbucks, and we still peer into other peoples living rooms from a darkened sidewalk as we stroll through the evening.

"Peep Show" urges artists to explore the tantalizing, the hidden, and the mystery of voyeurism. Pieces should take into consideration what makes watching and the glance so much a part of our psyche. Successful entries should not be blatant or include in-your-face eroticism. Rather, artists should draw on the ideas of peeping, the glance, intrigue, and what is left unseeable.

This show is open to all members of EBSQ+. Limit 3 entries per member.

About the juror

Adrian Zoot writes regularly at Global Suburb, a Salon blog, and has published poems, stories and essays, most recently in Virtual Occoquan. He lives in Maryland, where he works as an editor. He writes: "My favorite form of voyeurism remains the movies. And many of my favorite movies concern voyeurism. American Beauty, for instance. Audrey Tatou in Amelie. And, best of all, Rear Window. The urge to spy often arises from the sense that our lives aren't complete. We suspect others of having a better, or at least more interesting, time on this planet."

This is a Juried Show

Juror: Adrian Zoot

Juror's Statement

This show invited artists to entertain imaginative possibilities ranging from the lewd to the sublime. The peeper's an abject, pathetic figure; yet the theme of voyeurism can be expanded to encompass a more general human condition - our intrinsic, never fully escapable loneliness; a sense of limits and partial knowledge; an ache for wholeness and transcendence.

I was interested to see the varied, inventive ways in which EBSQ+ artists responded to the show's theme. Some played off of its more traditional meanings; others provided their own singular, oblique "takes". The work submitted was at such a high level, across the board, that any selection invariably felt arbitrary and reflective of little more than one particular viewer's sensibilities on a particular Monday morning. An intriguing, daring exhibit could be created around a narrow definition of voyeurism - drawing inspiration from the seedy world of triple X video booths, peep shows and "adult" lounges. Some of the submissions rose to this challenge. My interpretation of the prospectus, however, indicated a wider definition - voyeurism as metaphor - and my selection reflects this.

I responded to the psychological intensity of Amie Gillingham's "Confessions of a Spuffy Addict", which creates a powerful rapport between the foregrounded figure and the televised scene - with her hand outstretched, she seems to be drawing its energy into herself (vamping the vampire show, so to speak). The TV couple looks removed and impersonal; all the drama is taking place in the viewer's psyche.

In "Jeepers Creepers PEEPERS!! (Giant Urban Freak Head)" Robyn Henzel turns voyeurism inside out: instead of us looking in at a forbidden scene, our own space is intruded on by a strange gaze, belonging to an urban monster/goddess who has burgeoned out of the city's anomie, and whose presence transforms it. Nervousness, anxiety, fear and violence are present, yet the colors create a sense of joy and potential.

Finally, I was drawn to Linda O'Neill's beautiful, enigmatic digital illustration, "From the Shadows," with its suggestion of mystery and transcendence. Is the watcher here a sinister intruder or a messenger angel?

For the juror's mentions, I selected four artworks which reflect the variety of styles, genres and thematic approaches which characterised the show in general. The Matisse-like simplicity of Cindy Agathocleous' "Watching", the candor of Lori Rase Hall's "Waiting," the encounter with the exposed psyche which awaits the viewer of Windi Rosson's "Peeper," and the totemic power of Jen Thario's "Effigy" represent strikingly different, memorable interpretations of the word "voyeurism."

Thank you all for allowing me to be your viewer/voyeur for this show.

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