Behind the black veil

The performance took place on The University of Texas at Austin’s campus, and it was my first performance in a public space. I wore a black veil and a mask that covered my body and face completely. While being completely covered, I walked around with a video camera, following people on campus and recording them. A photographer was also following me with a still camera. The performance captured the mirroring effect of people’s gaze. Often people are looking at women whose dress is completely different, but now she is the person not only looking at them but also recording their images. So the function of the camera is to gaze back at the viewers. The woman has the power to see people, but no one can see her facial expressions. The initial idea began with a dark box or room. By that I wanted to make a space to limit people’s bodily movements and create a confined space to make them uncomfortable. The black veil plays the role of the dark box as well. It is the moment people feel unsafe to see the eyes observe them without knowing her identity. I see the piece challenging me as an observer and people being observed.

Behind the Black Veil