mirrorsblack, mirrorsblack portrait, and two-way window
mirrorsblack literalizes a viewer experience of the “dissolution of the self” (Claire Bishop, Installation Art: A Critical History, Routledge, 2005). I'm skeptical of the idea that artists are responsible for supplying transcendent experiences. By putting the viewer (or at least, his or her partial reflections) into the work, I’m exploring whose expectations and meanings are projected onto art objects.
mirrorsblack suggests my ambiguity about the future, and the sense that one can never get a complete picture from any singular perspective.
mirrorsblack was commissioned in 2009 for Bellwether at Southern Exposure in San Francisco. An exhibition catalog—including an essay on mirrorsblack—is available. Whitney Lynn's Bug Out Location appears in the background of some photos. The artist would like to thank Southern Exposure, Courtney Fink, Maysoun Wazwaz, Michael Yap, Brian Barreto and Michelle Blade for their confidence, support and generosity.
mirrorsblackportrait is a kinetic sculpture that explores how one can never get a complete picture from any singular perspective. In the context of The Black Portrait exhibition, it suggests the fungibility of identity and racial constructs.
mirrorsblackportrait is on exhibit in The Black Portrait at Rush Arts Gallery through May 16, 2011. In the video documentation, Kajahl Bene's and Coby Kennedy's paintings can be seen in the reflections. Special thanks to Hank Willis Thomas, Natasha L. Logan, and Charlotte Mouquin for their support..
Two-Way Window is a companion work consisting of black paper and matboard framed behind an acrylic two-way mirror, which is both reflective and transparent. How and what the acrylic reflects and reveals imparts multiple perceptual experiences and interpretations.
Well-lit, the paper casts a perceptible shadow; a work of art is implied. In near-darkness, the paper becomes undetectable. Lacking visual cues, it suggests an unlit void behind the gallery wall. In both cases, it is in the darkened rectangle or the implied work of art where the viewer can see his/her reflection most clearly.
- mirrorsblack, 2009, wood, mirrors, spraypaint, lights, casters, 36 × 66 x 36 inches / 1 × 1.6 × 1 m
- installation view, front
- installation view, back
- mirrorsblackportrait, 2011, mirrors, paint, frames, wire, motor, hardware; 112 x 21 x 21 in / 2.8 m x 0.5 x 0.5 m (site variable)
- video documentation of mirrorsblackportrait. Available on Vimeo.
- Two-Way Window, 2009, acrylic, paper, matboard, frame, 16 x 20 inches, 41 x 51 cm
- illuminated view
- interactive view