Vis-à-vis // Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Mirrors form a visible vis-à-vis and give us the opportunity for self-observation – providing that every mirror also alters and influences the image it transports. Christoph Girardet concerns himself in his elegant found-footage film The Eternal Lesson with the observation of art students who not only try to mirror reality in their work but to capture it as well with their creative means. Girardet reproduces the tentative, constantly renewed comparative approximation of the model with filmic devices. In Amy Mike Hoolboom asks how media pictures can influence and disturb self-perception, creating in the process the (fictional) portrait of a young woman who has lost her image. The artist Ferhat Özgür observes two elderly Turkish women in Metamorphosis Chat: One of them is employed and lives a more or less secular life, the other wears a headscarf and has a considerably more religiously-oriented world view. They gigglingly decide to simply take the figure of speech “to walk in someone else’s shoes” literally. In the charming, nimble-footed film BerlinBeirut Myrna Maakaron portrays two very different cities that merge before the camera into an imaginary place where the lightness of “now” suppresses the heaviness of history. The Dutch artist Marjoleine Boonstra combines a high formal aspirations with a clearly political perspective on her themes. For her touching film Sa Nule she observed people in a Bosnian-Croatian refugee camp who after a year saw each other for the first time in a mirror. Kip Fulbek, finally, focuses on mass media stereotypes and humorously shows that media-oriented clichés of multiethnic characters come nowhere close to being able to create an adequate mirror image of the complexities of reality.