1-900 Mirror Mirror

“1-900 Mirror Mirror” at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York City, 1993/4 Photographs@ Maxine Henryson

1-900 Mirror Mirror

1-900 Mirror Mirror, (1993-) was my first  interactive public artwork. Taking the form of mirrored phone booth, 1-900 Mirror Mirror was a work in which I could communicate with the viewer by videophone. The primary intention was to discover what the viewers might ask when confronted by their own image in a mirrored infinity chamber. The mirrored booth, covered with hand printed roses, ivy, and hair, was a visual metaphor which projected  what would happen at death. The work was conceived in the midst of the AIDS crisis with the intention to provide a transformative experience. Perhaps  hope and healing might transpire on seeing a never-ending vision of one’s self.

Playing off the 1-900 pay talk phone lines mainly used for psychic and sex dialogues, I took on the role of the artist as seer. My presence an oracle within the small screen of the videophone which radiated as I asked, “do you have a question for the future” Everyone who sat down did. Looking back 1-900 Mirror Mirror was a precursor by a decade to skype chats/video streaming exchanges we see embraced by many artists today.

At the time there was a perceived ambiguity a to what constituted the actual work: was it the installation of the printed mirror and furniture, the altered relation between the viewer and the artist, or the performance itself. I prefer to see it as all three intertwined.

The first presentation of the work was at the project room at Andrea Rosen Gallery, NY and the work subsequently traveled ( 1993-96) to Voyeurs Delight at Franklin Furnace, NYC, Techno for an Answer at Real Art Ways, Hartford, Conn., Trans Ambient at The Kitchen, NYC and Art Metropole, Toronto, Canada.

1-900 Mirror Mirror (1993/2017)  Frieze NY 2017

1-900 Mirror Mirror (1993) was shown at Frieze NY with The Breeder, Athens in 2017 – with the interactive component  with readings by famous psychics and artists! 1-900 Mirror Mirror was well received and on the front page of The Art Newspaper Frieze and selected as one of the 10 Best by iD  ,  and Wallpaper .  Art News featured The Golden Thread from the recent Greek India Series . Here is the link to the book on the history of the project 1993-96 – With text by AA Bronson and photographs by Maxine Henryson.  Frieze Highlights and Looking Forward from Stefan Kalmer  and The Culture Files