Who is the audience
work in progress

The question of intimacy, proximity and distance of interpersonal relationships runs like a red thread through TanjaBalac’s work. Thus, it is not surprising that the concept on which Balac’s multi-visual project “WHO IS THE AUDIENCE” is based is a complex installation that includes audio-visual, tactile and philosophical aspects of views, playing with the observers perception: In this multi-layered concept, which only gradually discloses itself, the spectators are offered different aspects of meanings and interpretations. A glass cube, which’s double walls are filled with liquid and covered with black clothes (building a canopy), invites the viewer to turn around the installation, however in a bent position, imitating a stalking-process. In moving around the cube, the visitor’s eyes are directed towards moments of the ordinary life, separated in different rooms, however in two of them showing people sitting around a table, just with the difference of stemming from a different religious context (christian/muslim). In another part of one of the rooms, a teenager can be seen, chatting via Facebook; while in yet another a grandfather and his granddaughter are playing in a park. Finally in another part of the cube, we’ll see a “voyeur’s” eyes simply glancing at yet one of the everyday life situation. The “empty space”, simply separated in the cube’s middle by one broad road, concludes the installation. Wherever the observer stands, he hears Marielle V. Jackobson’s“Cobalt Waters” with more or less high volume. Also, he’s able to catch up the fictional dialogue between two of the protagonists, regarding the possibility to leave earth by flying away like a bird, as well as sounds of children laughing and playing and extracts from the document “Accession Partnership between the FYROM and the European Council”, translated by “Google Translator” into English and French. The different aspects of identification presented to the viewer as everyday life-situations, however with different religious and political backgrounds, refer on one hand as a critique of the globalized world, which negates contrasts through the use of modern communications (Facebook / Internet / cell-phones). On the other hand “WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?”allows different interpretations, directly calling upon the viewers own social status, his audio-visual talent and his religious-political understanding. The apparent interchangeability of everyday situations turns out to be a fallacy once questions of proximity and distance, emotions and apathy are posed by the observer. Yet, it fully depends on the viewer, if and which kinds of emotions are triggered, as it is up to him, to link the sounds and fragments of dialogues he had captured to one specific context presented to him. The observer finds himself in a form of reciprocal interplay of the globalised world, that postulates on one hand the equality by using the same mass products while on the other hand creating virtual and often false (or artificial) identities that relate to a real context. Which reality, proximity or distance is decisive can now only be answered by the individual (the viewer) himself. Balak’s work refers exactly points specifically to this ambiguity, in leaving the observer in a more and more unsafe situation, not knowing if his point of view is the “right one” and becoming slowly aware that his point of view for sure is one-dimensional, like the “voyeur’s” view is it as well. But “WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?” invites the individual to escape his one-dimensional viewpoint and – like identities of the virtual worlds -, to switch to a new point of view by changing his perspective. This change of perspective – for example from the “coffee table-situation” to the teenager -, reflects the question of one’s one point of view and the perceived proximity or distance from the newly chosen angle. With “WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?”Balac confronts the observer with the question about the influence of information on our perception of our own identity. Do different religious or political backgrounds lead to greater alienation or intimacy than the use and interpretation of information stemming from (modern) means of mass communication? This given possibility of a change of perspective, offered to the audience by Balac’s installation, combined with the ever-present background noise of dialogues and music, the falling water, which sharpens as well as distracts the view, symbolizing the already felt ambiguity between different chosen perspectives, finally offers the opportunity to the viewer to become aware of his own “observer point”, asking: “WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?”