WRO online thematic path
May 11-17, 2020


This week we enter THE MIRROR STAGE. Have a look at our collection of psycho-analytical documentations and a lone video, all of them starring the ego in its multidimensional self-replications alongside mirror reflections of digital identities. Dedicated to all those who steal a peep through the… pane.

An image of face composed of quartz particles gradually disintegrates, leaving behind just an empty square. Displayed at the WRO Biennale in 2019, hash2ash, an installation by panGenerator, explores narcissism intrinsic to contemporary selfie culture obsessed with self-portrait snapshots people compulsively take using their smartphones. As visitors stop in front of panGenerator’s work, take photos of themselves and upload them to a server, their selfies are projected onto a gravel graphic display which almost instantaneously begins to fall apart on the screen. Addressing a range of themes, such as the eponymous metaphysical trope and the ironically framed selfie-mania, the piece plays on and with the psychoanalytical suggestion of an individual’s split figure, its multiplication and scattering, and efforts to establish a connection between one’s image and one’s imagined or adopted identity.

Martina Menegon sought to accurately render the shape of her body by means of the 3D technology, rather than through a two-dimensional photo. Her Virtual Narcissism project was a series of scans of the artist’s body, which the audience could view in various configurations by moving their fingers across the tablet screen. By using a basic manual scanner to scan the outer shell of her own body, the artist deliberately produced images whose imperfect mapping highlights the potential presence and co-existence of several identities, which are revealed by the multiplicity of the scans that differ both from each other and from the artist’s physical body.

Krystian Grzywacz’s animation Vacant Spaces is a tale about living in a simulated realm of artificially generated bodies and their 0-1 existence. Grzywacz made 3D scans of his friend’s bodies and ushered these simulations into a new world. Adopting the perspective of creator and savior, he scrutinizes their incomplete existence mauled in transformation from a material into a virtual structure. Grzywacz-projected headless bodies, programmed, altered, malleable, and stripped of sentience as they are, melancholically hover on the screen, oblivious to the cause of sadness and emptiness.

Mirrorbox offers a reflexive mirror stage. Megan Daalder designed a two-person, closed, and symmetrical mirror space in which, instead of the reflection of our faces, we also see the reflection of another person’s face blending with our own. In going beyond the traditional mirror functionality of enabling people to see their own faces, Mirrorbox activates mirror neurons, which makes the installation out-and-out neurobiological, as it helps the audience develop an empathetic relationship with the environment – with the person who uses the installation with them – despite recognizing their own singularity.

In Paweł Janicki’s Video Vinyl Delay, scratching, one of basic DJ techniques, is turned into a strategy of commanding time and controlling the image of one’s own reflection. With a camera mounted over the mixer, the installation screens its images for the viewer to handle them by means of mobile phones, using commands posted on the Internet. As a result, viewers can manipulate images of themselves, edit them at will, and in this way also control time, whose perception changed when film montage appeared, among other things.

Seiichiro Matsamura developed a generator of dancing images. His interactive Dancing Mirror unceasingly recorded people who happened to pass beneath it, and reworked them into a dance choreography, with the image slowing down or accelerating as different soundtracks were played. With the audience’s gestures performed at their proper pace sped up or slowed down on the screen, identification was disturbed because the Dancing Mirror disrupted linear spatio-temporal structures, making them subordinate to its own pre-programmed mechanisms.

In 2015, Kenny Wong’s Squint was installed at the Mondrianesque glass façade of the Renoma Department Store. The piece was built of about fifty small, round mirrors mounted on moving bars which reflected light in various directions in the semblance of an unfurled disco sphere. Wong’s installation generates the paradoxical sense of the fragmentariness and internal interconnectedness of the world, as the mirrors often become aligned so that the beam of light reflected by one of them falls on another one and is refracted by it to reach yet another one.



panGenerator /Krzysztof Cybulski, Krzysztof Goliński, Jakub Koźniewski/ (PL)
installation documentation
National Museum in Wrocław
18th WRO Media Art Biennale 2019 CZYNNIK LUDZKI | HUMAN ASPECT

Martina Menegon (IT)
Virtual Narcissism
installation documentation
Feel Like Self exhibition
Basements of the former Ballestrems Palace
17th WRO Media Art Biennale 2017 Draft Systems

Krystian Grzywacz (PL)
Vacant Spaces
3rd Best Media Arts Graduation Projects Competition
WRO Art Center
May 17 – June 11, 2017

Megan Daalder (US)
installation documentation and an interview with the artist
National Museum in Wrocław
14th WRO Media Art Biennale 2011 Alternative Now

Paweł Janicki (PL)
Vinyl Video Delay
installation documentation
AC/DC/IT. Alternating/Direct/Shifting
WRO Art Center
June 26 – August 1, 2012

Seiichiro Matsumura (JP)
Dancing Mirror
installation documentation
Wrocław University Library
16th WRO Media Art Biennale 2015 Test Exposure

Kenny Wong (HK)
installation documentation
RenomaWRO exhibition
16th WRO Media Art Biennale 2015 Test Exposure