Un-contextualized is a piece that aims to create a forced empathy between the viewer and the situations displayed. The viewer, removed of their characteristics, is left only with his human-like shape, which is now shared with the characters in the abusive situations.
This project hopes to challenge stereotypes that might affect how we perceive abusive relationships. Anyone can be in a situation of abuse or be in the position of the abuser, regardless of age, gender or social class. How do we should engage in a conversation where we are able to realize we might need help.
An iMac computer and a Kinect camera welcome the viewer, giving an automatic reading of that person, a reading of only its silhouette. But after several seconds, as the viewer gets used to his interaction with the piece, this mirrored experience is interrupted by different clips of abusive situations. However, those people in the videos are not different from the viewer: they are un-differentiable from each other. A forceful call for empathy.
Because of the immediate outcome of the captures taken with the depth camera, it makes it an extraordinary tool to link the viewer with the subject of the main piece. In this piece, the result will not only be the figure of the viewer transforming itself into one of the shapes that appear in the videos, but also the people who move behind will be visible replications of those performing.
Getting help and being heard is difficult for everyone. Many people that scape their abuser are later failed by the justice. These difficulties are even increased when the victim is part of a visible minority or part of the LGBT+ community. Stereotypes and presumptions are barriers that do not allow people to get the help needed when in an abusive situation. Some victims not only have to deal with the stigma associated with being in an abusive relationship/family, but also with the disbelieve of their situation in a society clearly shortsighted.
This was an art school project,
For more information about the installation, visit: nklehr.wix.com/uncontextualized