Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
3 March 2006 to 3 March 2006
Reviewed by: James Jones »
Untitled (D'ya Think I'm Sexy)
Felix Rial. This latest piece from Felix Rial is currently circulating the Internet at a prodigious rate. A continuation of his recent themes regarding male sexuality the male gaze and Greek mythology, this boy packs a lot in! A Strange, if somewhat humorous dance, eyes directed straight at us, the artist challenges us to observe him as he dances a bizarre interpretation of what appears to be an Irish jig accompanied by "The Lord of the Dance". He is practically naked, his appearance Christ like and vulnerable in only his underwear. We can barely see his face for the duration of the piece but yet we seem to know he is looking. About half way through the performance her moves towards the camera as if to confront us, making sure we are still watching, appreciating him and his efforts to please us. It feels desperate and pathetic, a last ditch attempt, a plaintive cry for love, acceptance. Whatever the reaction it is what he intends from us, as long as he has us watching it seems he will be satisfied. His means of channelling this is part and parcel of the piece. I don't think we can separate the fact that he has chosen this medium to spread the work by chance. We must surely refer back to the phenomena of recent internet shorts such as 'Star Wars Kid' and how he, unwittingly, attracted such attention and fame. The Arctic Monkeys have achieved huge commercial success by exploiting this medium to its full potential. Rial's video is hosted on a site which is wholly democratic. Anyone with sufficient know how can upload their own video which may be subsequently viewed and rated by the global community. This means that with this hugely accessible medium, fortunes may be won and lost,reputations made and ruined. I think this in itself is part of what Felix is addressing. He is vulnerable, exposing and making anrnass of himself in front of quite possibly millions of us. Perhaps the world will sit up and take a look, and perhaps, just perhaps look a little further and try and get to grips with this enigmatic artist.
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