Me Seeings Us Sculpture by Michael Tauschinger-Dempsey

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Me Seeings Us

Michael Tauschinger-Dempsey

United States

Sculpture

Size: 19.7 W x 23.6 H x 3.9 in

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Art Description

Sculpture: Glass, Wood on Glass, Wood.

Me Seeing Us consists of glass panes in wooden frames placed in the center of a table with four chairs. The glass panes are coated with very thin, mirrored strips, which allows spectators sitting on opposite sides of the frames to simultaneously see the person on the other side and their own reflection. Despite the apparent technical simplicity of the work, the human brain is incapable of separating these two images. The reflected image merges with the projected image and creates a composite of both—an unexpected hybrid being. The participant sees a hybrid image of him/herself and the person sitting in front of him/her, bringing to mind questions about our identity and its relative (in)stability. Sitting at a table, being face-to-face with another person from whom one is separated only by slightly obstructive glass conjures (mostly thanks to movies) the association of the visiting room in a penitentiary. What in the latter association is a clear distinction between who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’, who is free and who is captive remains, in this case, ambiguous. The hybrid is a disturbing mélange of traits and features and visible back-stories; it is only as individuals that we distinguish ourselves.The wooden frames also function like windows in that they give the participant the impression of looking outside from a perceived inside (or vice versa), while at the same time, owing to the reflective strips, acting like an unusual ‘window’ into the self. In Me Seeing Us, the voyeurism/exhibitionism dialectic is as important as the issue of surveillance, for there too, the two participants develop an unlikely intimacy through their simultaneous acts of surveillance and being surveilled. At base, underlining this entire act of creation and discovery is the implicit reminder of the endpoint of this sort of deep exploration: self-destruction.
Recalling the fate of Narcissus…

This is what the experience can look like: https://vimeo.com/24444151


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