Voight-Kampff at UCA Gallery, curated by Catherine Ocholla, will feature works by Shani Nel, David Scadden, Justin Allart, Niklas Wittenberg, Catherine Ocholla, Linda Stupart and Andrew Lamprecht.
Philip K. Dick introduced the Voight-Kampff Empathy Test to the environs of post-World War Terminus in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the book behind Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner). The test would measure involuntary responses in subjects (blushing, respiration, eye tension) to emotionally evocative questions to detect whether they were human or android.
Curatorially, Catherine Ocholla has opted to explore the concept behind the test (real/fake; fantasy/fiction; empathy; violence or its potential, etc.) through a selection of works in various media that use visual cues that ‘normally’ elicit certain kinds of reactions. From butterflies to bullets, seeming opposites masquerade and provoke new responses or narratives from the viewer, some expected and easily conveyed and some less so. The show plays into the current revival of interest in Sci-Fi and fantasy – references and individual works hint at the narrative in both the movie and book – tying in to long-held assumptions of art and science’s influences on and association with civilization and high culture, and the representation of alternate realities in art (particularly how empathy, as suggested by visual cues, tie in with these influences or lie in their representation).
The show’s centre piece (a collaborative installation) taps into how society has numbed us to the horrors around us to the degree that we have, to some extent, become indistinguishable from androids (based on aspects of the narrative in the actual book).
Venue: UCA Gallery, 46 Lower Main Rd, Observatory. Tel: (021) 447 4132.
Gallery Hours: Tue - Fri: 10:00am - 5:00pm; Sat: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Duration: 29 Jul - 21 Aug 2009
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