Troubling notions of active and passive looking, Belgium-born artist Aglaé Bassens elevates the everyday to intriguing new heights in her thought-provoking oeuvre. ‘My upbringing was rather uprooted,’ she reflects, ‘as I lived in Belgium, Sweden, England, Turkey and, now, America. A lot of my childhood has been spent observing rather than participating’. In her 2012 painting The Audience, the viewer is confronted with the backs of a number of women’s heads. Seated in uniform rows, the figures are adorned in barely-defined white garments which recede into the background. Like well-groomed spectres, they each boast a manicured coiffure in an array of colours, tints and textured styles. The unusual vantage point, with its sharply cut and angled frame, draws the viewer into the work, as if placing us within this anonymous cohort of women, yet simultaneously denies any real access through the concealing of their faces. By subverting the gaze, Bassens obscures the viewer’s role as both participant and spectator, as its title playfully questions who the audience truly is. It is this enigmatic sense of both intimacy and distance, familiarity and incongruity that lies at the heart of Bassens’ work.