Mixed media wall installation
(lenses built into the wall, periscopes), 1991
During the last five years, I have mainly created works that were organised around geometrical problems and physical (optical and mechanical) questions. I was especially concerned with the contradictory relationship between movement and stillness. In short, I can say that I am engaged in the physical representation of abstract entities, reversing the usual process of starting with reality and working towards the abstract, to which most people are accustomed.
The work in the exhibition is created from simple optical instruments: lenses and periscopes. The way the work is exhibited is also a pioneering method in that it is not located in the exhibition space, nor on one of its walls, but is actually fixed into the gallery wall itself. I sank the elements into the surface of the wall so the apertures of the periscopes look like black points from a distance. Until the viewer looks more closely at them, they seem entirely flat, but, in fact, the work is embedded in space threefold. In a physical sense it is in the wall; the viewer by looking into the periscope, glances back into the gallery, yet in doing so, the spectacle appears as a virtual space beyond the wall. As the viewer leans towards the surface of the wall, a space opens up in the aperture of the periscope, which seems to lead the eye into a counter-space where counter-happenings are taking place.
Between the periscopes, there is also a special 'self-examination' apparatus, in which the viewer can examine his/her left eye with their right, and their right eye with their left.
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