Projects   >   VENETIAN MIRROR


Year: 2009

Authorship: Andy Cameron, Sam Baron, Oriol Ferrer Mesià, Goncalo Campos, Dave Towey

Venetian Mirror was part of the exhibtion "Decode: Digital Design Sensations" at the Victoria&Albert Museum in London (Dec 2009-Apr 2010). The exhibition offered a major survey of the best digital art and design in the contemporary world.

The Mirror is based on a large – 103 inch –very high definition monitor, a high definition camera, a custom mirror and steel frame and custom designed software. It represents a collaboration between software and fine artists. The mirror object itself is monumental and references the history of Venetian mirrors with a contemporary feel – a series of glass and metallic fragments are pinned around the mirror onto a backing frame, breaking up the contour of the screen into irregular pieces.
Venetian Mirror is a digital mirror which distorts our sense of time and in which the viewer sees an image of their body reflected – but only if they keep still. It is a simple, profound and haunting reflection on “proprioceptivity”. When the visitor walks up to the installation, their image doesn’t immediately appear in the mirror. Only if the visitor keeps very still, will he or she slowly appear, like a photograph being developed. This work reflects images, like a mirror, but represents time, like a clock. It stages time as an experience, and puts the spectator at the heart of this experience of time.
The spectator in front of Venetian Mirror is confronted with a large, slow digital reflection, surrounded by more than 30 fragmentary and analogue reflections. Venetian Mirror integrates therefore contemporary digital and traditionally analogue forms of imaging in a coherent combination.
The frame both echoes and deconstructs the classic Italian and French mirrors of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. In particular, Venetian Mirror explicitly references the history of glass and mirror production in the Veneto, North Italy, where Fabrica is situated. Modern mirror making originated on the Venetian island of Murano in the 16th Century as an offshoot of the glass making industry there. Venetian mirror making was one of the most advanced technological accomplishments of its day and was a closely guarded commercial secret – until the French succeeded in enticing Venetian master mirror makers to Paris.
Venetian Mirror is a new artwork which has evolved out of a previous work – a diptych video projection entitled ‘We are the time. We are the famous’ – shown at the Pompidou Centre in 2006, and then in Milan and Shanghai in 2007 and Tokyo in 2008.



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