To Walk a Mirror

The French writer and literary critic Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) once asserted that "the novel is a mirror one walks along a path" -- a critique of the ways in which literature is bound to representational form. In this, there is also a critique of everyday life, which is connected no less than literature, to the fictions we tell ourselves every time we look into the mirror. It's an artist's dream -- and nightmare -- the simple observation that reality is bound to the mirrors we use to construct it. In psychoanalysis, we see ourselves (in the mirror) therefore we exist -- and yet such an existence is both optically and psychologically tainted. In communications, we represent (through image) therefore we exist -- our very existence dependent on an ability to sustain the interest of others in the images we put forward. In some ways then, our own fictions walk along the path beside us -- and all the better when they are mirrors too -- friends who might be imaginary but which nevertheless reflect a side of the world we know and trust.

To Walk a Mirror is a thought experiment turned photographic proposition -- what does it like look like when we "walk a mirror" most literally? This might be the secret mirror in your shoulder bag, or the bathroom mirror in a publicly frequented location -- but in either instance, it is a mirror that you already know -- and which consequently already knows you too. This is a project that asks you to take a mirror for a walk, however you decide to creatively render the proposition itself. The challenge given to participants is to take a picture of someone other than themselves, in whatever way they choose, but in a way that somehow resonates with their own vision for the project. The hope is that, the spectacle of the action not-withstanding, the project will initiate dialogue among participants -- as a space for whimsical speculation and creative rethinking of performance and representation.