Faces: Anatomy of Autonomy

Anatomy of Autonomy

Lee Goater’s many faces

A new, interactive exhibition at Leeds Gallery looks at how we define ourselves – and how others define us.

Making graphic art accessible for everyone, Lee Goater’s Anatomy of Autonomy uses a restricted pallet of bold design shapes to create a multitude of different selves. The characters represent different genders, ages, and cultures. Hairstyles, mouths, eyes – and sunglasses and fez hats – let the individual create their own identity, or autonomy, using the anatomy of these parts. The concept makes for some interesting combinations and a representative cross-section of society.

There’s definitely a fun element to the design and to the gallery space. The exhibition has moving projections, magnets of the design shapes for you to create your own face, along with a central table complete with card, stencils, and stamps to make your own identity to take away. For the technologically minded, you can even download the app ‘Make a Face’ from iTunes and from Google Play to create your own face.

Anatomy of Autonomy is phase two of Goater’s concept. Back in 2012, he created ‘responsible magnetic street art for sharing’ and anonymously distributed 180 polaroid sized magnets around the UK. The exhibition features a number of photographs showing the faces in various guises and places throughout the country: London, Leeds, York…Shipley train station! It was fun trying to work out where the photographs were taken. Continuing the anonymous theme there were deliberately no captions.

The exhibition title, Anatomy of Autonomy, is very promising, and I was expecting a long, hard look at how the self is represented. In honesty, I was left with more questions than answers. It would have been fascinating to ask visitors which graphic design they most associated with, if any, to really give an interactive feel and help showcase the ways in which we perceive ourselves. But maybe I was missing the point – maybe the white space of the exhibition is where we decide the answers to the questions of self, ourselves.



Read the original here.