Remember when everyone had a mobile phone?

There will come a time when this question gets asked in nostalgic reminiscence. But, we’re still too caught up in the mania of our phones to think about that. We are in an in-between time where a significant number of us knew life before mobile devices, while there are just as many who have known no other form of communication device. Gabriela Schutz is exploring this in-betweeness, and more specifically, the absorption we have when we look at our phones in her latest exhibition, lookback@now.

The artist has been exploring the topic of engaging with mobile phones since 2007, but in that time the mobile phone has changed from a transportable communication device to a pocket computer, camera, media player, gaming console, internet browser, and so many other things, with ‘phone’ being only one of numerous functions. 

The portraits in lookback@now are of Gabriela’s family and friends while engaged with their portable devices. She became very intrigued by this ‘absorbed looking’ after seeing Richard Diebenkorn’s portraits of people reading books, or just being self-possessed in looking.

What will happen to our attention? Will we become even more deeply absorbed in the light of technology? Is this light hurting us, changing us? What will we become as this technology pervades our psyches? We don’t have full answers yet; we can only look back at now. 

lookback@now is on at Arthouse1, 45 Grange Road, Bermondsey, London SE1 3BH

Dates: 5th – 27th October 2018.  Times: Thursday to Sunday, 3pm – 7pm.  Phone: 077131 89249