Retinal Shift is the catalogue for Mikhael Subotzky's 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Exhibition.
It investigates the practice and mechanics of looking, in relation to the history of Grahamstown, the history of photographic devices and Subotzky's own history as an artist.
The works draw on archival portraits from the last century, found surveillance footage, as well as Subotzky's own photographs from various series that he recontextualizes. The opening work in the book is a self-portrait that Subotzky made with the assistance of an optometrist. High-resolution images of his left and right retinas sit side by side. Says Subotzky: "I was fascinated by this encounter. At the moment that my retinas, parts of my essential organs of seeing, were photographed, I was blinded by the apparatus that made the images."