This exhibition has finished.
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?
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