Double Mirror

FullHD video, 20 min, loop, 2017

music by Gwendloyn Thomas & Berend Dubbe

film made in close collaboration with Kévin Bray, Realexis and Andrii Gaida

The film is made possible by the Mondriaanfonds


Double Mirror 

Nat Muller 

With a plethora of technology that unceasingly relays, quotes, references, embeds and re-tweets, the distinction between the making of images and the way we look at them has profoundly changed. It seems that immediacy and authenticity - in the past rather unusual but by now familiar bedfellows - are promised through the mere act of recycling imagery. Production and experience (or consumption to use a jaded concept) are increasingly blurred, propelling images to be continuously in flux and fluid. The idea of visual representation itself, is caught up in a feedback loop that teeters on the brink of existence, falls into a black pit of demise, and then repeats over and over again. A perpetual resurrection of something that is either always becoming or, conversely, is becoming undone. 

Much of Margit Lukács and Persijn Broersen’s practice is informed by these questions. Finding their clues and cues in centuries-old motifs and ornaments, iconography, natural landscapes, gaming culture and Hollywood films, they are not necessarily searching for answers, but rather articulate and complicate these questions in visual form. All of this culminates in their most recent video work Double Mirror (2017). It is no coincidence that its title refers to a looking glass that is see-through on the one side, reflective on the other. What is up in the air though is who, or what, is on either side. And so we as viewers, fully complicit and implicated in this game of looking and being looked at, are taken on a whirlwind of immersive, wondrous, disturbing and whimsical images. 

In Double Mirror Lukács and Broersen have stretched the possibilities of technological and technical craft and willingly or unwillingly test the processing capacity of the viewer. Each image is addictively unstable. A pink elephant morphs into a sunset, a trumpet, an African fertility statue. The soundtrack, composed and arranged by Gwendolyn Thomas and Berend Dubbe, seamlessly glues the flow of images together. It veers from the playful to the ominous and often directs the mood of the visual sequence. Lukács and Broersen tap into our cinematic consciousness for what we see, referencing amongst others movie classics and blockbusters. They do something similar with what we hear. There’s a string of notes that sound familiar, a song we can almost recognise and place, before it shifts into something else. It is a seductive game of cat and mouse that toys with our desire to render things understandable by labelling them and categorising them. We are conditioned to put things in a box. But our desire is left unquenched and only the residue of visual and sonic expectation lingers on. As if there were only an afterglow and nothing preceding it. 

When we see a curtain rustling, turning from red, green to black and then into dentures performing a song, we know we are in for quite a spectacle. Nevertheless, underlying this carefully edited celebration, this viewing fest, are difficult questions of authorship, appropriation, ownership and whose visual and sonic lexicon - so seemingly nonchalantly referenced and used - it actually is? Double Mirror offers a mesmerizing semiotic meltdown in which nothing holds but a wish to, in some way or other, account for the social and political life of images.