The starting point of Oscar Guermouche’s work is language as a carrier of identity. He focuses on the connections between text, biography, and body based on notions such as memory, self-image, and character, often using his own body and biography as raw material.
He is particularly interested in stereotypically male characters, often anti-heroes, men who are trapped in a borderland between hero and monster, and the narratives that create and recreate these men. Issues such as upbringing, fatherhood and threat are also included here.
While Guermouche’s practice is text-based, his work includes a variety of media such as drawing, painting, video, performance, and installation. For Eye of the Tiger he has chosen to work only with film stills; apart from the title and one quote from the film Le Samouraï (1967) the work contains no text. Instead he has focused on the stare as language. The book is composed of close-ups of the eyes of 99 male characters from various films. The stills portray the characters in situations where they are forced into some sort of readiness; these stares express everything from controlled calm to furious aggression.
The films were all released between 1977 and 2000, the formative years of Guermouche’s childhood and coming of age, including schooling, sexual debut and military service.