|Examination (GlassBooth), 1997/2002
Two rooms + one glassbooth + one wall
Examination is a sculptural installation of a glass booth connecting two separate rooms with the same size. People can enter each room by a separate entrance, but can't go from one room directly to the other. Visibility between the two rooms exists only via the glass booth. In the booth a microphone implies connectivity, offering via intercom audio communication between the two rooms.
Examination takes on the visitor’s perception and participation through the construction of a particular architectural situation offering a spatial extension that isolates an individual and allows it to step into the other room without actually entering it.
Quoting a singular historic system of observation and presentation that offers an environment for taking responsibility, Examination displays the structural fragility of authoritative moral and psychological concepts by establishing delicate personal relations in the context of primordial exertion of power, through controlled encounter and mutual assessment.
"The examination combines the techniques of an observing hierarchy and those of a normalizing judgment. It is a normalizing gaze, a surveillance that makes it possible to qualify, to classify, (…). It establishes over individuals a visibility through which one differentiates them and judges them. That is why, in all the mechanisms of discipline, the examination is highly ritualised. In it are combined the ceremony of power and the form of experiment, the deployment of force and the establishment of truth. At the heart of the procedures of discipline, it manifests the subjection of those who are perceived as objects and the objectification of those who are subjected."
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 1977: 184-5