Comprising photography, installation and video elements, Bootlegs at Canberra Contemporary Art Space placed emphasis on those who visited. Over a two week period, I sat in the gallery each day presenting new items for people to engage with. A small camera above a mirror hooked up to a TV monitor. Apart from nine images and a mirror with a spy camera attached just above, the exhibition changed day to day. I brought along different items to place in the gallery each day providing different interactions for different visitors. The items were staged in view of the spycam and invited interaction. Each evening I went home and fast-forwarded through footage, created snapshots and printed them to bring back to the gallery and place on wall.

This exhibition is essentially about looking and images, in particular surveillance images. I am interested in the messages sent to the general public through the use of hidden surveillance cameras with reference to shopping and identity. The exhibition raises issues relating to permission and human identity in an increasingly impersonal world. During the course of the exhibition new images will be added. Please fill out a Model Release form and become a part of Bootlegs. Images added will be available on-line and in the gallery the following day. Different days, different things. Things from home. Personalising the gallery space.

Bootlegs, 2004
Pigment prints, spycam, mirror,
various props and monitor
Dimensions variable
Canberra Contemporary Art Space
April 2004

I spy with my little eye,
something beginning with…

Wills first captures, reframes and then later distorts images on the computer. Are we looking closely at the diary of a hybrid visual anthropologist? While anthropology might suggest an exhaustive and meticulous study, Wills instead views the unobserved, ordinary moments or occurrences that can take place within a public space. The public space he observes gives up its secrets. In hundreds of digital image files taken by David Wills, we are offered just a small concise selection. These are jewels of the everyday. Through the lens something has been apprehended but only for a moment.

“Whatever its other aspects, the everyday has this essential trait: it allows no hold. It Escapes”
Maurice Blanchot, Everyday Speech 1987


Text by Rozalind Drummond