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Las Meninas

Patrick LeMieux

Las Meninas

Single channel digital video

Projected to scale (125.2" x 108.7")

April 2009

The number of images uploaded to Flickr every week is estimated to be larger than all the objects contained in all the art museums in the world. A simple Google search for "Las Meninas" yields thousands of digital photographs uploaded from the Museo del Prado in Madrid which depict the famous 1656 painting of the same title by Diego Velázquez. After narrowing the query to exclude all but the "extra large" images, a collection of every unsized tourist photograph was downloaded in April, 2009 and sequenced at 15 images per second to create this film. The uncanny similarities between photographs produce a striking (and somewhat unsettling) effect when seen in rapid succession. As if extending Hollywood's filmic language of trauma, the film renders the collective photographer's quaking hand, transfixed in ecstatic reproduction of Las Meninas ad infinitum. This bound subject, simultaneously looking, making, and being made, echoes Michel Foucault's reading of Las Meninas in the first chapter of The Order of Things (1966).

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