Being seen by Blind Greta


Douglas Gordon, 100 Blind Stars: Mirror Blind Greta, 2002. Photograph by Robert McKeever. Courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery.

Just like people queued to see the empty space of the Mona Lisa when the painting was stolen in 1911, each time I see Gordon’s Greta, I can stop looking at it. To me, this image is incomprehensible and that quality captures my gaze. Te riddle seduces. I also tend to stare at the eyes of blind people, as if looking for something, wondering how the act of seeing takes place. Yes, I know all the stuff about light and the organ of sight, but that does not account for how I see. That’s part of the riddle; a riddle that gets more complicated if we admit that perception is reality.

The eyes of Greta, the eyes that feel see me but I can’t see remind me of the eyes of Dr Sh‚Äî, my analyst. Also the stare of the artwork, that which stays with me and watches me when I am not in the gallery. How can something you see see you? And what does it do to you when you feel you are being seen? That is part of the pont of analysis; so is the case when the gallery space. You know? Freud was analyzed by the Acropolis; or, as he put the object caused a disturbance of memory in him.

Ah, the scopic drive and its relationship to desire! So much to say, so little time. Must get back to my PhD confirmation report…