... the house is looking out from its windows at the surrounding landscape. Through incorporation, I have the very distinct experience of my home enveloping me as a kind of extended tissue of my own body. The home has been transformed into a region through which courses my life as it courses through my body. Bodily existence pulsates through the home, transforming a sphere of the anonymous in such a way that it becomes part of the self.
from: Richard Lang, The dwelling door: Towards a phenomenology of transition in Seamon & Mugerauer (ed.), Dwelling, Place and Environment: Towards a phenomenology of person and world, 1985
What mirrors once did is now accomplished by computer screens and monitors. Both transform spaces into flat surfaces. Flatness: Cinema after the Internet, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen
During stolen moments of reading and web browsing I've been thinking through some other artists' glass and prism experiments; ideas of flatness, collage and impossible spaces; and the inside/outside dichotomy:
Pablo Bronstein's Constantinople Kaleidoscope (2012) – a sophisticated, solipsistic performance to camera in which four dancers glide mirrored, prismatic columns through a precisely choreographed ballet, revealing and concealing a distorted reflection of the artist as Ottoman courtier in a makeshift Baroque garden. The scene is at once completely flattened - by the camera and by the screen on which it is intended to be viewed - and multifaceted, concertina'd.
Robert Smithson's non-sites and corner pieces (1968-9), in which mounds of organic matter are brought into the pristine gallery context and displayed (displaced) on kaleidoscopic arrangements of mirrors: 'Literal and allegorical, the non-sites confounded the illusion of materiality and order. The mirrors functioned to order and displace, to add and subtract, while the sediments, displaced from [their] original site, blur distinctions between outdoors and indoors...' robertsmithson.com
Phil Coy's Façade, which combines archival footage of 1920s plate glass manufacture with high-end green screen and CG video to explore the 'transparency' of contemporary (corporate) glass architectures: "The outside is in precise opposition to the inside. Nature is an element to be viewed, appraised and contemplated but never to be physically experienced."
Also Heman Chong and Anthony Marcellini's recent show at Wilkinson, an arrangement of objects on mirrored-glass tables that propose 'conversations' between the two artists, between the various objects and between each object and its reflection (I was drawn in particular to Interview #04, an unfolding net of mirrored hexagonal tiles, creating complex reflections within itself as well as the table surface); Laura Buckley's dizzying 2012 installation Fata Morgana; Dan Graham's Pavilions...
"...we developed an intuition that many modernist sacred spaces were built as giant light modulators or projectors of some kind" lux.org.uk
While I am house- or at least E14-bound, I'd like to revisit the work I was making earlier this year in response to the church on Salmon Lane, the starting point for my 1964 series. To review its relationship to my more recent pieces; to map out (maybe quite literally, in the manner of Stephen Willats?) the images and ideas – hexagons, churches, beehives, glass, Utopian architecture, cellular estate plans – that tie the series together; and, importantly, to experience, and photograph, the church from the inside looking out.
I have enjoyed reading Lucy Reynolds' 2010 interview with Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone, whose "discursive" research process really appeals to me, and whose film Machine on Black Ground seems to chime with this body of work. Their magical colour field shots through the stained glass windows of the Meeting House at Sussex University recall the optical effects of Patrick Bokanowski's La Plage; their montage of archive and original film footage is open-ended, evocative, beguiling...
Michaela Nettell is an artist and filmmaker based in London.
I work across moving image, photography and installation, creating works that explore the potential of projection and collage techniques to affect relations of space, optics and memory.
Recent and current works explore relationships between man-made and natural forms, particularly in the urban environment. My ongoing 1964 Series documents incidences of non-orthogonal structures in post-war city architectures, making reference to Frank Lloyd Wright's 'organic architecture' and the hexagonal plan. Colours and patterns of beehives and the honeycomb recur in my work and I often limit my palette to black, white, yellow and blue – Austrian ethologist Karl von Frisch's Colours inside an apiary.