Starting from the basic point of wanting to convey the past in a colourful way, I have been following the idea to pursue a cynical irony which the viewer could feel while reading/viewing my project.
From a contextual point of view, my work has been inspired by George Orwell’s “1984”. “The Big Brother is Watching You” quote is symbolic in my work. In his book, George Orwell talks about a fictional character, named Big Brother, who is more of a symbolic figure head, who wields total power “for its own sake” over the inhabitants. In the society that Orwell depicts, every citizen is under surveillance by the “authorities”. Big Brother is seen as infallible and all-powerful; no one has ever seen him and it is known that he will never die.
Following this concept, I set my project on giving the idea of being followed or watched by introducing an external element, which in this case is the stylised woman hand. The images below are three of a series of six of my final outcome for the project.
I didn’t want to convey any religious feeling with having a hand coming from the sky, although the symbol has to be the one of authority and of someone always surveilling and watching us. I am exploring this concept of society monitoring us, such as the “puppeteer” and the “puppets”. We don’t know about their existence, as in Orwell’s book, but we know that there’s always someone who has controlled us over the years, wars, situations, everyday lives. Someone from behind the scenes. So I like to think of my project as a being aware of something real, but laughing about it, because there’s not much we can do about it. For this reason, I decided to name the project “PANOPTES” which name comes from Greek mythology. Panoptes was a giant monster with a hundred eyes and it was known that he was considered a very effective watchman. “Argus Panoptes”, in fact, describes being subject to strict scrutiny in one’s actions.
“Sleep never fell upon his eyes; but he kept sure watch always”. – “Agimios”, Hesiod