Mireia c. Saladrigues

Spectator’s (im)positions*

*An attempt at dialogue between research questions, impulses, experimentations, artistic outputs, insights and theoretical references.

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What are the impositions on the spectator? What is her or his position?

Can the existing roles of spectatorship and instruction (within gallery settings) be mobilised to foster unexpected and unconventional relationships to art?

How to envision and proceed with specific artistic mise-en-scène interventions to trigger (and not to fix) the regulated and distant gaze of the spectator?

How to mobilise alteration and unconventionality in behaviour so as to test new sets of experiences for reflecting and challenging traditional configurations among makers, objects, audiences, and museums?

How to work from/with misrepresented artistic engagements and practices for a permanent redefinition of relationships to art?

How to escape “presentation” in an artistic output or paper so as not to neutralize the potentialities that marginality, interpellation and resistance entail when it comes to renovating cultural paradigms?

How to generate thinking via artistic outputs and dialogical practices that would challenge both individualistic western systems of theory and blur the borders between practice and knowledge production?


If we want to understand the peculiarities of museums’ aesthetic regimes, we need to begin by tracing the genealogy of the viewer, a figure ideated for looking at a distance. Distance was not exclusively the requirement for representation, as the Baroque perspectores show; distance is also an essential requirement for disinterested contemplation, which is the characteristic way of seeing in modern aesthetics. #03

With Singulier Pluriel we gesturally explored the function of the eye, the process of seeing, the nature of the gaze. Can we make distinctions between the passive gaze, active gaze, haptic gaze, and other typologies? How can we detonate the Kantian paradigm of spectatorship that remains operative in the shadows cast by modernity?

Only someone who lacks the sharp division between vision and action may be taken to an experience that breaks with the standardized forms of experience and, therefore, forms of domination. Precisely therein lies his or her capacity for critical thinking, the raison d’etre as an emancipated subject. #03


While in their imposing exteriors nineteenth-century museums retained an emblematic architectural function, changes in their internal architecture instituted a new set of relationships between space and vision, in which the public could not only see the exhibits arranged for their inspection but could, at the same time, see and be seen by itself, thus placing an architectural restraint on any incipient tendency to rowdiness. #01

The museum is really an impresario, or more strictly a régisseur, [...] the controlling intermediary that sets the scene, induces a receptive mood in the spectator, and beckons [him or her] to take the stage and be their best artistic selves. #02

~ Are the set of contemplative gestures of spectatorship in themselves the museum per se?
Does the museum emerge from the “non-space” when recalling internalised normative and repetitive movements”? ~

~ Can the museum emerge at any place when a group of people reenact the same pensive gestures, which, as spectators, we all represent within an exhibition? Would these “performances” rewrite such a signified place, or just add another layer to it? ~


Going to a museum, then as now, is not merely a matter of looking and learning; it is also - and precisely because museums are as much places for being seen as for seeing - an exercise in civics. #01

Since the museum, at its birth, explicitly targeted the body as an object for reform, could performative experimentations peel off, layer by layer, the internalized behaviours for the body to take over space in white cubes?

We, as a viewing audience, can no longer be positioned as the observers of work from the outside, and, having understood how we remake work in relation to the subjectivity we project upon it, we cannot unlearn this when confronted with the work of "art." The question that is raised, therefore, is what forms of response replace that old model of lost identification, and, do these emergent modes of response afford some mutuality that links viewers and participants beyond their named location of identity? #12


multimedia index_

01 | L'analyse de la vue. Voyant haptique. Photography, 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

02 | Les pespecteurs (1648), Abraham Bosse. En Manière Vniverselle de Mr Desargves, pour pratiquer la Perspective Par Petit-Pied, comme le geometral : Ensemble Les Places Et Proportions Des Fortes & Foibles Touches, Teintes ou Couleurs. [ permalink ]

03 | À Propos de la vue, ses fonctions et qualities. Conversation. Video as documenting, 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

05 | Examination of the gaze. Observation. Gif, 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

06 | L'analyse de la vue. Compréhension. Gif, 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

07 | L'analyse de la vue. Oeil. Photography, 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

08 | L'analyse de la vue. Rayonement de la vue. Photography, 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

09 | L'analyse de la vue. Voyant capture. Photography, 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

10 | A Specfic Representation, video 8min 5s, 2014 _Mireia c. Saladrigues

11 | A Specific Representation #2, video in progress, 2014 _ Mireia c. Saladrigues

12 | Behaving Unconventionally #2. Session at BBB. Reflection by Delphine Robet. 2014. Mireia c. Saladrigues

13 | Behaving Unconventionally #2. Session at BBB. Photography, 2014. Mireia c. Saladrigues

14 | Behaving Unconventionally #2. Session at Les Abbatoirs. Photography, 2014. Mireia c. Saladrigues

15 | Behaving Unconventionally #2. Session at Les Abbatoirs. Photography, 2014. Mireia c. Saladrigues

16 | Echoes #4. Entre Autres Mouvements. Le Box outside view, front. 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

17 | Echoes #4. Entre Autres Mouvements. Le Box outside view, back. 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

18 | Echoes #4. Entre Autres Mouvements. Le Box inside view, with SP 65 (2014) by Yago Hortal. 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

19 | Echoes #4. Entre Autres Mouvements. Filled Questionnaire. Page 1. 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

20 | Echoes #4. Entre Autres Mouvements. Filled Questionnaire. Pages 2 and 3. 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues

21 | Echoes #4. Entre Autres Mouvements. Filled Questionnaire. Page 4. 2015. Mireia c. Saladrigues


01# BENNETT, Tony. The Birth of the Museum. History, theory, politics. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 1995.

02# DUNCAN, Carol. Civilizing Rituals. Inside Public Art Museums. London and New York: Routledge, 1995.

03# FERNÁNDEZ POLANCO, Aurora. “Ver a distancia” in AZNAR, Yayo and MARTÍNEZ, Pablo(Eds.) Los lugares del espectador, Ca2M, Madrid: 2012

04# FRASER, Andrea. “From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique”, Artforum, 44 (September 2005).

05# FREEDBERG, David. The Power of Images. Studies in the History and Theory of Response. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

06# HANDKE, Peter. Offending the Audience, Self-Accusation, Kaspar, My Foot My Tutor, The Ride Across Lake Constance, and They Are Dying Out. London: A&C Black, 2003.

07# HEWITT, Andrew. Social Choreography. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.

08# MARZO, Jorge Luis. Museums and Audiences: The Role of Digital Media in the Transformation of Aesthetic Imaginaries. (Accessed in November 2015).

09# NOLAND, Carrie. Agency and Embodiment. Performing Gestures/Producing Culture. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.

10# RANCIÈRE, Jacques. The Emancipated Spectator. London: Verso books, 2009.

11# ROGOFF, Irit. Looking Away. Participations in Visual Culture, (Accessed in August 2014).

12# STERNFELD, Nora. Playing by the Rules of the Game. Participation in the Post-representative Museum. CuMMA PAPERS #1. Department of Art, Aalto University, Helsinki 2013. (Accessed in September 2013).

Credits and acknowledgements_

From November to December 2014:

Special thanks to Le Lait team for its good welcome and for believing in my intuitions: Jackie-Ruth Meyer, Murielle Edet, Michèle Ser, Hélène Lapeyrère, Guillaume Rozan, Julie Gay and Christel Martinez.

Thanks to Claire Cauquil, Olivier Nevejans, Mira Adam y Roland Ossart for helping me to find dancers and or offering themselves as voluntary.

Thanks to Olivier Michelon and Cécile Poblon for letting us work at Les Abbatoirs and at Le BBB with Behaving Unconventionally. Tests #3 and #4. And to Carrières Plo for making from our team the first one in filming among its activities with A Specific Representation #2.

Merci to Nathalie Auboiron and Mark Lorimer for their valuable collaboration at Echoes #4. Entre autres mouvements. And thanks to Yago Hortal for letting me mount a research installation with his SP65.

Behaving Unconventionally. Tests #3 and #4
Performers at BBB, Toulouse in front of Oases, 2010. Zilvinas Kempinas:

Delphine Robet

Ilyes Aupied

Lydia Vinuela

Quitterie Setoain

Tanor Thiendella Cisse

Performers at Les Abattoirs, Toulouse in Marulho, 1991-1997. Cildo Meireles:

Mira Adam

Sylvie Commagnac

Marie-Pierre Genard

A Specific Representation #2.
Performers at Carrières Plo:

Claire Cauquil

Tanor Thiendella Cisse

Diane Jean

Léa Darrault

Sophie Cara

Roland Ossart

Photography and recording by Ariane Rubuech

Echoes #4. Entre autres mouvements.
Research installation as exhibition at Art Centre Le Lait in collaboration with ADDA. With Yago Hortal and Mark Lorimer. From January 24th to March 8th 2015.

From March to April 2015:

Thanks to La Panacée staff for facilitating my staying and making possible my work: Frank Bauchard, Delphine Goutes, Stéphanie Delpeuch, Pauline Faure, Semiha Cebti, Pierre Bellemin and Anaïs Danon.


Special thanks to Singulier Pluriel company precisely to Jos Pujol with David Azéma, Marthe-Agnès Bourmault, Corynne Denux, Johanna Dupuy Hemimou, Isabelle Jannot, Joaquim Munoz, Hervé Rauch and Stéphanie Tavernier for the long tests and working sessions.

One thousand thanks to Joaquim Munoz for his incredible friendliness and never endless enthusiasm for the research.

Thanks to Carlos Carreras, Agnès Fornells, Laure Pansiot-Villon and Stéphanie Delpeuch for the valuable translations and interpretations in multiple languages.

Merci to Valentine Pignet of Traffic collective for lending me photographic material, to Louise Vantalon for her interesting reflections and for sharing her experience and to Jule Flierl for connecting me with CCN