Artists: Carolien Arnold, Irina Birger, George Hendrik Breitner, DRIFT, Suzan Drummen, Olafur Eliasson, Gerjanne van Gink, Andy Goldsworthy, Douglas Gordon, Bert Haanstra, Jasper Hagenaar, Jeppe Hein, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Bernard Heesen, Hiwa K, Berk Ilhan, Joan Jonas, Folkert de Jong, Michael Joo, Job Koelewijn, Victor Kossakovsky, Sean Landers, LaTurbo Avedon, Claude Lorrain, Katja Mater, Yvonne Mostard, Hans Op de Beeck, Yoko Ono, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Tanja Ritterbex, Maria Roosen, Kathrin Schlegel, Dries Verhoeven
'Ssqueaky, mirror on the wall. Little is as enchanting as the illusion of the mirror. This is proven by the delightful family exhibition 'Mirror Mirror', at Kunsthal KAdE' (FD Personal).
On display is work by some 30 artists and designers from home and abroad who relate to the phenomenon of mirrors in different ways. The exhibition begins with a smile. Turkish designer Berk Ilhan, who lives and works in New York, has devised a "mürror," a smart mirror: a mirror that only reflects when you smile.
The main hall is decorated with installations by Danish artist Jeppe Hein. His life-size work "Mobile Mobile" is on display for the first time in a museum setting. The mobile of mirrors is set in motion by an exercise bike, constantly changing the experience of the space. Says Hein, "I want to inspire people to look at themselves and ask themselves 'Who am I?" and "Where am I going?
Sean Landers, Plankboy (Narcissus), 2019, Courtesy the artist and rodolphe janssen, Brussels. Photo: Christopher Burke
'Mirrors have appeared in works of art in a variety of ways for centuries. In Amersfoort, a playful exhibition shows the versatility of those reflections' (Trouw).
Art history and stories
The first cabinet features an art historical and cultural selection of works. Religious and mythological stories (such as Narcissus, Amaterasu and Venus) are interspersed with literature (such as Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and Tijl Uilenspiegel). In addition, attention is paid to the use of the mirror in art history and in the practice of painting. The mirror as an indispensable tool in making a self-portrait and the Claudespiegel (or black mirror) are discussed. In the Volkskrant of April 23 appeared a beautiful report on the Claudespiegel. Commissioned by Kunsthal KAdE, artist Jasper Hagenaar created a work of anamorphosis: a painting with a distorted image that only looks realistic with the help of the mirror cylinder. The magazine Kunstschrift, in their specially produced theme issue additional floor. The issue is available for purchase in the KAdEShop.
'A typical Kunsthal KAdE exhibition: kaleidoscopic, wide-ranging. It highlights the mirror from many angles' (de Volkskrant).
Science and design
The mirror has special applications. Kunsthal KAdE shows first experiments such as Archimedes' solar mirrors to more recent design solutions such as mirrors in the mountains of Rjukan to provide 'light' to a village in winter. Topical is the James Webb telescope consisting of mirrors of six-and-a-half square meters, which fold up in a rocket into space. The Amsterdam-based artist duo DRIFT created a mirror from synthetic obsidian, a byproduct created during the recycling of chemical waste. Design solutions in healthcare were also conceived, such as the Alzheimer's mirror by Gerjanne van Gink.
Hiwa K, Pre-Image (Porto), 2014. Video, one-channel, FullHD, color, sound, 6'35", Courtesy the artist and Prometeo Gallery Milan - Lucca
Reflect Yourself / Reflect Reality
The third and fourth cabinets feature artworks that show self-reflection and reflection of the environment, such as Yoko Ono's "Mirror Piece" and the inquisitive performances of Joan Jonas. Irina Birger created a new work especially for the exhibition in which she meant mirrors with lines creating a network that gives back to the viewer a deconstructed reflection. A special documentary is "Svyato" by director Victor Kossakovsky. He covered all the mirrors in his house for two years after the birth of his son and filmed his son's confrontation with the mirror; a film about self-knowledge and loneliness. Iraqi-Kurdish artist Hiwa K's video work "Mirror" explores sentiments of alienation: an antenna-like object full of rear-view mirrors acts as a navigational device. American-Korean artist Michael Joo's work consists of two mirrored police shields. The attacker is confronted with himself. Finally, playwright Carolien Arnold introduces visitors to their true faces in various tasks.
Suzan Drummen, Untitled, 2021. Photo: Mike Bink
Reflections in nature
In the back rooms upstairs and downstairs, reflection is related to nature. Reflection is a physical phenomenon we know through water and air. The reflection of nature captures the imagination of many artists, photographers and poets. For this section, Suzan Drummen created a new work and Kathrin Schlegel presents a new interpretation of her work "There Are Worse Things You Could Be Accused Of Than Being A Flower," a bronze chandelier that hangs above the water under the railroad bridge next to Kunsthal KAdE.
KAdEStudio. Photo: Mike Bink
Experiment with mirrors yourself
Visitors can also work with the theme in the KAdEStudio. Experience how it feels to see yourself reflected from all sides and learn to write in mirror writing! A mirror tunnel will be created especially for young children. For families there is a Mirror Expedition in the city of Amersfoort in cooperation with FASadE.
'That exhibition about mirrors in art raises so many questions. About classical vanity, the influence of social media, what image of yourself you want to bring into the outside world. And perhaps the most important: how do you look at yourself and how honest are you about yourself?' (Visitor)
In collaboration with the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), students have been inspired by the phenomenon of mirroring in a seminar. The best work will be given a place in the exhibition.
Artists and designers: Carolien Arnold (NL, 1976), Irina Birger (NL, 1972), George Hendrik Breitner (NL, 1857-1923), DRIFT (NL), Suzan Drummen (NL, 1963), Olafur Eliasson (DK, 1967), Gerjanne van Gink (NL 1987), Andy Goldsworthy (UK, 1956), Douglas Gordon (UK, 1966), Bert Haanstra (NL, 1916-1997), Jasper Hagenaar (NL, 1977), Jeppe Hein (DE, 1974), Cannupa Hanska Luger (US, 1979), Bernard Heesen (NL, 1958), Hiwa K (IQ, 1975), Berk Ilhan (TR), Joan Jonas (US, 1936), Folkert de Jong (NL, 1972), Michael Joo (US, 1966), Job Koelewijn (NL, 1962), Victor Kossakovsky (RU, 1961), Sean Landers (US, 1962), LaTurbo Avedon, Claude Lorrain (FR, 1600-1682), Katja Mater (NL, 1979), Yvonne Mostard (NL, 1954), Hans Op de Beeck (BE, 1969), Yoko Ono (JP, 1933), Michelangelo Pistoletto (IT, 1933), Tanja Ritterbex (NL, 1985), Maria Roosen (NL, 1957), Kathrin Schlegel (DE, 1977), Dries Verhoeven (NL, 1976)
"Everything changed on the day that man first saw his reflection." (From "Svyato" by Victor Kossakovsky)
The exhibition Mirror | Mirror. Reflect Yourself! is curated by Judith van Meeuwen. The exhibition was made possible thanks to contributions from K.F. Hein Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds and Gemeente Amersfoort.