An Optician's Journal, 2021
MFA exhibition, LUCA, Brussels
Installation with sculptures, video and publication
Plaster, tripods, chairs, lenses
Video loop, 19:54
The first encounter
Why are you here?
To see what's far.
To see what's close.
To see colors better.
To look at my laptop (for a long time).
Do you have headaches?
Do you see double?
Do you have diseases? Diabetes? Blood pressure issues?
Does the patient have bloody eyes?
Does the patient have protruding eyes?
The last two questions are for me. The shape of the eyes, their consistency, usually means something about the patient's body, their nutrition, their genetics, their needs. "We must understand the eye as the window to the soul". The eyes are my entrance ticket to the body. It's the gate to the patient's routines, bad habits, and sometimes a bit more. How they see the world. No, how they observe it. How they place themselves. I'm not sure there is a difference.
Do you have glasses? Have you ever used glasses in the past? Since when do you have glasses? How old were you when you started using glasses? Do you wear contact lenses? How often?
Did you ever do surgery for your eye?
Does your number (of the lenses/eyes) change a lot? (A lot: twice a year. Not a lot: once every two years)
When was the last time you did an eye exam? need to know what I am looking for.
I need to know the history, but not too much. I should not be distracted by too many details.
By the end of the talk, I know where this exam is going. Most of the questions are not so necessary. I can see a lot without the answers. I can see it in their eyes.
Sometimes, people don’t know the alphabet. Or they have a different alphabet. Maybe they don’t know the names of the letters. I give another option. Numbers. If they don’t know numbers, we use images to talk. Small children don’t know the names of the numbers. So, I ask them to look at the letter E. I call it a chair. They know what a chair is. I ask: to what direction does the chair point? Show me with your hands. (they don’t know what's left and what's right).
Is the chair faded in the edges?