In class at the museum today we did an "art lab" to see the process.
Our lab was called "mirror mirror." We were to make an art installation using translucent, opaque, transparent, reflective etc. materials and name and describe what we did.
I was in a very social phobic mood, and REALLY didn't want to be there. But something amazing happened, I tapped into something and came up with something really wonderful and creative!
My piece was an outdoor scupture, probably 12 feet at the tallest. I will post a photo of my model when I get around to it. It consisted of a two sided mirror, on the outside was a regular silver color which reflects normally, on the inside was an amber colored mirror. The mirror was leaning at a 45 degree angle held up by 2 opaque right-triangle shaped "blinders" Wrapped around this, as if holding it together, was a long green snake-like wire. Six feet away, parallel to the vertical edges of the "blinders" was a transparent "window" with a tree on the opposite side.
If a person was to stand in this little enclosure, they could be hidden from a person standing outside the enclosure. Inside the enclosure they could look at themselves in this amber mirror, the color of the mirror makes a warm, safe atmosphere in the enclosure, and the reflection the person would see of themselves would be more attractive than reality, because their skin would look more tanned, and their clothes and jewelry would let off a "golden" hue. If this person were to turn around they could remain in the comfortable enclosure and look at the beautiful tree. The "window" allows them to see the tree, without being bothered with the tree sap, dirt, and bugs, or other elements of nature, like wind and cold.
I titled this piece "Us Magazine." I would now change it to "Us." The title has a double meaning, "Us" is America, "Us" the magazine is an example of one way we shelter ourselves from what is real. The enclosure is the universe we create for ourselves. It is pleasant and warm. Our view of whats going on outside is blocked. The amber mirror has a double meaning. It has a golden hue, to show the importance of our purchases on our culture. It also has the meaning of darkening our skin. In American popular culture we adopt small bits of culture, but we only want the parts that we deem at the time attractive. We "block out" the meaning behind the bits we adopt, and we don't want to accept the rest of the culture we adopt them from, until of course, we deem those parts attractive and adoptable too.
The green cord wrapped around the enclosure is the fact that money is what holds all of this together. The cord is a reminder of TV, another means used to create this shelter, and it also has a shape that reminds you of a snake. Which can be symbolic of our fear (whats outside?) and a reminder of the story in the Bible where the devil takes the shape of a snake.
You can look at the person inside this enclosure and see that they are in an enclosure. You would be able to see what they are experiencing, it might look selfish, it might look appealing, maybe both. You are seeing it from the outside, not experiencing it.. If a person never left this enclosure, they would not know how different the enclosure is to reality.
There is a reason why this must be an outdoor sculpture. The picture changes depending on the elements of the earth. Perhaps they can obscure the view of the person outside, looking in, but the universe can see the whole thing happening from above. Every now and then, when the sun and clouds are at the correct angle, the sun will shine into the enclosure and change the enviornment of the enclosure. This only will last for a short time. It is up to the person in the enclosure to decide how to react to that change. Was it an intrusion or a revelation?