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.

Archival presentation can be seen at this link

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

1-900 Mirror Mirror (1993) was shown at Frieze NY with in 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 . 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 

1-900 Mirror Mirror”predicted by a decade the skype chats and video-streaming exchanges. In 2020, during another pandemic, 1-900 Mirror Mirror was exhibited in There are more than four, curated by Jacob Korczynski at Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto which resulted in many articles on this work.  Many zoom interactive chats during the exhibition were offered to the public as the gallery was often closed due to the pandemic.Rhiannon Vogl’s article  “Calling Cards” for Blackflash magazine details her experience with 1-900 Mirror Mirror.