Exhibition: Marcus Lyall: Portrait of Jeremy Bentham

This exhibition CLOSED on Mon, 11th Feb 2019

This exhibition has finished.

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: Free of Charge

Come face-to-face with the illusion of a living Jeremy Bentham: philosopher, social reformer and inventor of the Panopticon.

Created by artist Marcus Lyall, the work is a companion to Bentham's famous auto-icon – comprising his skeleton, wax head and clothes – on display at UCL.

In his final years, Jeremy Bentham is said to have carried a pair of glass eyes in his pocket, so that his head could be preserved with a lifelike stare. This digital portrait uses 3D scans of Bentham’s real head and a camera that tracks your movements, so he seems to follow you around the room. This ’trompe l’oeil’ illusion creates an active, inverted relationship between a viewer and the portrait. Like the horror movie trope, the portrait is looking at you.

Like a prisoner in Bentham's Panopticon does being observed change the way you behave under his gaze?

Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


South Cloisters,

UCL Wilkins Building,
Gower Street,

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