Annie Cabigting’s Museum Watching is the continuation of her series of documenting audiences looking at artworks. Almost voyeuristic in nature, there is a deliberate detachment from the works she has created — the artist observing the observer. In turn and with the transformation of the gallery itself into a museum, the paintings become objects themselves in an almost installative work that puts on display the very act of looking.
A clever play on ideas of subject-object, visitors are made aware of their own positioning in such a space that allows for viewing and appreciating art. It becomes a questioning and a sort of social experiment that looks at on who exactly is who in the exchange that occurs. Introducing a query into the seriousness in visually studying art pieces, the demeanors and body positions are posed as points of exploration. Utilizing the realistic and formal style of depiction, the entry point for the posited commentary is clear, as the continuum of layers in history — from the work that people in the images are looking at to the taking of photographs of the viewers to the painting of Cabigting in the studio and eventually to the exhibiting in a gallery that is turned into a museum — become present in one space and time.
With the paintings as anchor, Cabigting as the artist and producer leaves the dialogue and allows for viewers to both spectator and spectated, blurring the lines and deconstructs the supposed pedestal or stage that the artist and the artwork are propped upon. (IF)