That Ikea Mirror Into My SoulSaturday, August 16, 2008
The spanish word for mirror is espejo. Espejismo is Spanish for mirage. I like espejo so much more. It is close to the original meaning in Latin, speculum which was mirror but specially a mirror in the water. A true espejismo in Spanish defines the term as an image that is upside down. In pre-columbian Mexico the word for mirror was obsidian since this was the only readily available surface that could act as a mirror. Gold and silver were far too precious for the ordinary Aztec. I like the idea of an obsidian mirror. Its darkness would colour the image in mysterious magic. After all trying to figure out our relationship with our image in a mirror is just that.
Since I purchased a large and beautiful wooden framed mirror at Ikea I have become nearly obsessed with taking portraits with it. From self-portraits to photographs of my subjects looking at themselves into a mirror. Dancers and actors are so used to this that I am able to easily have them forget I am in the room. In my classes at Focal Point (the school purchased the Ikea mirror at my urging) I have my students go through their paces with the mirror. They soon find out it is far easier not to include oneself in the photograph than not. And if the mirror is positioned away from the wall it can be easily lit.
Last week when I started my Mexican nostalgia project with Ms. Hernandez she indicated she wanted a mirror shot with me in it. Here it is.