THE EYE (2008)
Film with projection, 3-D animated film, time:14,00 min. format 4:3
Commission for The National Public Art Council Sweden
Inaugurate at Karlstad University October 29, 2008 – curated by Joa Ljungberg

by Celia Prado

The Eye is a permanent 3D-animated video work by Magnus Wallin for the entrance hall of Karlstad University. An intensely poetic, creepily violent and tender metaphor for personal memory – the intimate, urgent need for the autonomously experienced expression – and the collective striving for a consensual notion. Can these two continents of hopes, whispers and cries ever meet?

The film The Eye – a large black-and-white pupil, cellular memory, eye witness, self-executioner, remembering saviour, relates a concentrated kaleidoscopic picture of human suffering, of loss and anger, of reconciliation. In the beginning, we were all perfect, like the transparent, lithe – not to say dancing – detached, unconcerned skeletons in The Eye. A balance between non-corporeality and intellect. The Eye features the tree, of knowledge, of paradise, of perfection and of perdition, but also of hope. The idea that water reflects heaven, that heaven and earth are anchored, breathe and grow in a system of roots and nerves, inspires hope.

In The Eye the retina is licked clean, laboriously, meticulously and repeatedly, by a heavy, black tongue. In The Eye we hear the thump of an eyelid, a heartbeat. An echo of our own heart. Oblivion, memory, hearing, choices, images, faith.
What do we choose to remember? And then?

I translate The Eye into a visual morpheme, the smallest unit of meaning in a language, a communicative work that claims the other’s will or reluctance to see, hear, believe or perceive. A work that demands the viewer’s own prefixes and suffixes to become dialogue. A permanent work in the public domain, an organ in a body, an organic boundary space for differentiation, recognition and discussion.