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Indepth Arts News:

"Mirror Mirror: Reflective Contemporary Work"
2002-10-05 until 2001-01-05
North Adams, MA, USA United States of America

Mirror Mirror, MASS MoCA's exhibition opening October 5, brings together ten works of contemporary art that use mirrors as their primary media. Installed in the Michael and Agnese Meehan Gallery and the Prints and Drawings Gallery, the exhibition is curated by Jane Simon, a student in the Williams/Clark Graduate program in the History of Art.

The "mirror stage" when children first recognize themselves is widely understood as a critical phase of human development. Mirrors, both symbolically and practically, are the fulcrum within that development, and this exhibition features artworks that use mirrors to re-examine the concept of a unitary "self". The mirrors in the exhibition are cracked, wrapped in swirling baroque forms, faceted, inserted into a television set, interwoven with transparent glass, and used to create a sparkling insect costume. In each case, the artists have used the physical material of the mirror to undermine its spiritual or symbolic connotations.

Examples include: Felix Gonzales-Torres' poignant Untitled (Orpheus Twice) in which two full-sized mirrors are displayed side by side. When the viewers stand in front of one they see only themselves, with no reflection in the other. (Orpheus, the lyre-player of Greek mythology, tried but failed to free his dead wife from the underworld with music; so too does Gonzales-Torres seem to speak to his longing for an absent lover.)

In a video installation, Fountain, Patty Chang tackles another Greek myth. Like the beautiful youth Narcissus, Chang sees her reflection in a fountain, falling so in love with herself that she tries to lap up her image, humorously slurping the water. If asked "Who is the fairest of them all?" few viewers of this video would nominate Chang.

Other artists include Maureen Connor, Olafur Eliasson and Jeroen Jacobs, Jeff Koons, Christian Marclay, Donna Neild, Alyson Shotz, and Carrie Yamaoka.

The exhibition is made possible by the Clark Art Institute in support of the Williams/Clark Graduate program in the History of Art. The Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute has been placing interns from its graduate art program in the curatorial department at MASS MoCA since well before MASS MoCA opened. Mirror Mirror is the seventh in a continuing series of exhibitions organized by graduate students at MASS MoCA.

MASS MoCA, housed on a 13-acre campus of restored 19th-century factory buildings, is the largest center for contemporary art in the country. MASS MoCA is located on Marshall Street in North Adams, Massachusetts. Through October 31, MASS MoCA's galleries are open 10 AM - 6 PM. Admission is $9 for adults, $3 for children 6-16, free for children under 6, and free for members at all times. After November 1, the galleries are open from 11 AM-5 PM and closed Tuesdays. Admission after November 1 is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $2 for children 6-16, and free for children under 6 and members. For additional information, call 413 662 2111 or visit massmoca.org.

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