Retinal Shift: Mikhael Subotzky

(Standard Bank Young Artist 2012)

Retinal Shift: Mikhael Subotzky

For this exhibition Mikhael Subotzky presents an entirely new body of work. Titled Retinal Shift, the exhibition will centre on a four-channel film installation which was produced specifically for the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, and the exhibition tour. Further photographic, video and installation works will complete the show.

Retinal Shift: Mikhael Subotzky (Standard Bank Young Artist 2012)

Retinal Shift investigates the practice and mechanics of looking. The works in the show draw on archival portraits from the last century, found surveillance footage, and Subotzky's own photographs from various series that are re-contextualized. The opening work on the show is a self-portrait that Subotzky made with the assistance of an optometrist. High resolution images of his left and right retinas are placed side by side.


"I was fascinated by this encounter. At the moment that my retinas, my essential organs of seeing, were photographed, I was blinded by the apparatus that made the images."

Retinal Shift extends this motif of looking while not seeing – exploring it through Grahamstown's history, our contemporary surveillance society, and the artist's personal attempts to see.

The Young Artist Awards were started in 1981 by the National Arts Festival to acknowledge emerging, relatively young South African artists who have displayed an outstanding talent in their artistic endeavours. Standard Bank took over the sponsorship of the awards in 1984.

Walkabout of Retinal Shift

The Tatham Art Gallery Education staff will conduct a walkabout of Mikhael Subotzky's exhibition, Retinal Shift. Safe parking with a car guard will be available on the Church Street side of the Gallery.

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