In her practice, Cleo Foole explores what it means to perceive something, wondering in what ways spectators participate in what they see. At first, this led her to create seeing devices that question what a spectator can see from her specific position, yet since then, her work has become more tactile as well.
In the intertwining of vision and touch, Cleo takes spectatorship as an intimate experience layered with vulnerabilities. An exhibition is on the one hand an invitation for a spectator to engage, yet as in intimacy, there might be a limit to what can be shared, beyond which feelings of unsafety might surge.
Her installations question of what a spectator is allowed to see, touch or know. The underlying, unrealisable motive however, might be to have someone see the inside of her eyelids.
The current crisis and the measurements taken in the face of it have brought the interconnected nature of intimacy, perception and vulnerability into view. We long to touch our loved ones, yet make due with seeing each other from a distance. As we are vulnerable to the other’s touch, we try to create intimacy through screens.
We are in need of care, yet care has become a fundamental danger in itself. Taking the gallery’s window as a possibility for contact, Cleo Foole will install a table with two seats: one outside, one inside the gallery. Seemingly cutting through the window, the table creates a sense of the intimacy of sharing a meal, while retaining the safety of the screen.