Phillip Warnell's film 'The Girl with X-ray Eyes' was premiered at Warwick Arts Centre on Thursday, 8 May. The film was shown with a live theremin accompaniment performed by Lydia Kavina. Steven Connor (Birkbeck) spoke on the popular fantasy of acquiring x-ray vision, and the Werner Herzog short documentary 'Bells from the Deep' was screened. Following the event there was a reception and 'The Girl with X-ray Eyes' book launch in the Mead Gallery.
This event was programmed in association with 'Introspection-Extramission,' new work by Phillip Warnell, an exhibition at the Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery, 18 April - 15 June.
Natasha Demkina is known internationally as The Girl with X-ray Eyes. A Russian medical student, she is purported to have the ability to look directly inside bodies. Using a form of supplementary vision or second sight, she produces detailed medical diagnoses. Last summer, artist Phillip Warnell went to Moscow and offered up his own body as the subject for Natasha’s scrutiny before a series of witnesses. The resulting 23 minute artist’s film reveals his extraordinary encounter with The Girl with X-ray Eyes.
Introducing ideas on the negotiated use of filmic space, the project is concerned with the direct act of looking; how looking and seeing can indeed become a veritable act. Charting the process through which Natasha scans the body, producing a verbal report on her findings, the film also questions the role and status of the artist, drawing attention to ulterior motives and furtive, discreet forms of communication.