What is actually the thing that constructs our daily reality?

In general, reality is defined as a real and physical thing, a form that consists of existing elements. With our five senses, we can alternately see images, hear sounds, touch solid forms or smell the particular scents of things, which then fulfill a real experience. By experiencing through our senses, we can face reality.

In ‘Panoramix’, reality is divided into two types of experiences: the ones that we actually experience physically and those that we seemingly experience censorially. It also highlights the way man turns to the external world as the foundation for forming himself in the name of modernity. A person sees himself from other people’s points of view or at least according to his assumption of other people’s perspectives of himself. By no longer considering authentic acts, one is exposed to morality, value and external nature. Consequently, one is then confirmed as a citizen of the modern world. In other words, self consciousness is based on the consciousness of society’s hope.

Reality thus becomes more complex and mixed since the images that emerge are constructed not only by our consciousness of the world, as recalled through our sensory receptors, but also those produced by digital devices. They design and construct our perception, understanding and concepts of the physical and virtual. Our consciousness in knowing the seemingly tangible one from the truly tangible one becomes more exclusive because each person has a greater number of different experiences. It means a more subtle border is drawn between our current reality. The physical and the virtual co-exist. They are interacting and trans-versing in various forms.

Layered realities are emerging. Our identities are shifting. People’s natures are changing. They are no longer concrete. The initial stage of this exhibition is a consciousness constructed by Tromarama. The consciousness indirectly emerges from their observation of the ‘going viral’ era in which they live. They observe that timelines in this era are no longer clear and linear; one can simply upload the past and let the audience read it as part of his or her present. The concepts of space and time become inconsequential. Reality in cyber world, which can be considered as a matrix of real time, is also changing. The emergence of two different realities and two different times makes man feel strange, as if he or she is in between the virtual world and the real world.

‘Panoramix’ presents some short narrations on reality; banal things present in our daily lives. The works speculate upon the visual system, their perception, and the concept that becomes more stable. This exhibition proposes an experience around simulation, ecstasy, scale and reduced space.

A single channel video entitled Panoramix depicts the irony of visual fragility. It shows an image of a natural landscape on a flat screen, which is then virtually blown and uncovered by a wind. Laced with their witty remarks, Tromarama try to laugh at things connected to spatial experiences by showing moving objects that seem to have cause and effect relations. In Intercourse, a double channel video displayed across from Panoramix, they question the force behind our will to move things.

Despite choosing the power of texts when directing certain contexts, Tromarama are accurate in understanding that audiences need space to explore phrases as an initial point of understanding to determine narratives and metaphors in some layers of meaning. Beneath their irony and criticism, texts contribute by urging almost unreachable things: to explain the complexity of man’s reality and to search for the clarity of current subtle and unspoken things.

By using a lenticular technique, the works entitled I Do, Promise, and Unsettled show shifting texts that change according to the movement of the audience. These works can be seen as reflective mirrors of how people see themselves, constantly watching monitors. Or, vice versa, how monitors succeed in entangling people. It is a reflection of the domains we live in and observe. It is about how knowledge has information; how we understand and experience it; how differences of perspective and approach influence images or ideas.

Questioning today’s reality means questioning the real existence of our presence and lives. Ourselves, today, have been fractured into multiple fragments split between multiple digital screens.

When each person has their own reality, inside and outside of a monitor, in- between realities emerge. ‘Panoramix’ explains the landscape between those circulating currents and various realities, those mixed and chaotic realities. Actually, panoramas depend on compressed perspectives and views, as well as more and more superficial spaces.

‘Panoramix’ reveals those spaces between various currents and circulated realities. It is the search for an experience of reality that expresses the notion of becoming a man who stands for ideas about his or her existence, the basics of our existence – one’s being, grounding or substance – that have increasingly overlapped with other realities.

Riksa Afiaty

*This text was part of Tromarama Solo Exhibition: Panoramix at Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong. Date of exhibition: 18 December 2015 – 23 January 2016