installation with two-way mirror, video loop, headphones, floodlight, table, curtain, chair, projector, mixed media
Projecting conflates layers of interior and external spaces and viewing practices by engaging with the materials of interrogation/observation chambers and video surveillance. The work is centered around a two-way mirror. Depending upon the lighting on either side of the mirror, one side can become a window, while the other side is reflective. The reflective side is the side with the strongest light; the window side is the darker side. The mirror is placed on a wall between a room with a closing door and an open space. The light is set so that the “window” is accessible from the open space: viewers can pass by and look into the interior room, which they also may enter from a door around the corner. Once inside the room, the mirror is reflective and viewers in the room cannot see out, but see their own reflections. The room itself is dark, to allow for a video projection on the wall opposite the mirror, but there is a very bright floodlight that hangs above the seat in which the viewer sits, illuminating his or her face so that it is viewable in the mirror and from the outside. The looping video projection on the back wall of the room is extremely slowed-down footage of the eyes of a woman in pain. It plays backwards and forwards: the only indications of the direction of time are the blinking of her eyes, which, when reversed, suggest a struggle to keep the eyes open (as in sleep deprivation situations). Directly under the mirror is a long, institutional-looking table. At the end of the table is a chair. On the table is a pair of headphones, though which the viewer can listen to the video’s sounds (the woman’s breathing, gasping, the sounds of the room when the video was shot and the sounds of the video camera recalibrating itself, all slowed down). The headphones cannot move more than a few feet, so it is necessary for the viewer to sit in the chair in order to listen. Just above the viewer’s head is the very bright, hot floodlight. The viewer sits with her back to the projection and is able to view it, and herself, in the mirror. Viewers outside the room can watch the face of the viewer inside the room, because it is sharply illuminated, but cannot view the rest of the room or the video projection, because the light is not bright enough anywhere else in the room. Viewers who pass are able to look in the window at viewers within the room. Since the outside is not entirely dark, viewers on the outside also catch a slight image of themselves reflected in the window.