Ad-Reflex - Distancing Measures - 2020


1400 x 24000 mm
Oil, 3D modelling and and Digital Collage on Archival Paper on Board.


“Distancing measures” was prompted by a recent visit to New York in December (2019), in which AD-Reflex observed ‘transit psychology’ as manifested in the lives of ‘others’ on the metro. The subway – which keeps random people together in a contained, observable setting – is a perfect rolling ‘theatre’ for the study of human behavior. The work speaks to the human condition, our passions, insecurities, challenges, triumphs and failures, and showcases the subtle shift of awareness, understanding and the social unease of ‘privacy shields’. Simultaneously, the work reveals what is unique and authentic in people.

The work alludes in a playful manner to the dual nature in each of us. Each character was individually photographed on the Metro in New York and later on carefully  re-assembled in the AD-Reflex studio as part of a newly constructed reality.

In our contemporary culture, the prospect of communicating with, or even looking at a stranger is virtually unbearable. On a metro, people tend to fiddle with their phones, even without a signal underground and use technology or reading as a universal amor to hide behind. Smartphones become our security blanket that protect us from what we perceive is going to be more dangerous.

Additionally, the current challenge with the worldwide COVID-19 crises is different because there is no clear enemy. There is a sense of danger, but it’s not something we can recruit our powers against. And our instinct to feel safer by drawing close to others is frustrated by the physical distancing measures.

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