Mirrors and Mirrors
Michael Dean and Francesco Pedraglio
210 pages B&W
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Facing a mirror could be a displacing experience: symmetries and shades blur the reflected figure in a way that subverts the spatio-temporal relation of ‘what is reflected and when’.
In Mirrors and Mirrors, FormContent’s first step into publishing, Michael Dean and Francesco Pedraglio propose a similar strategy to unveil new site specific works next to an original text.
Jacques Lacan has employed the metaphor of the mirror to introduce the idea of subjectivity in objectification, where a creative tension is established between the subject and the mirrored image. A dialectic between whole and fragment is consequently produced: how does an entity and its parts relate to each other? Can these objects ever exist as separate beings or are they always in a relationship of dependency? Similarly, Michael and Francesco started to work on this project during summer 2007 when they decided to develop their practices towards a symmetrical presentation of Dean’s sculptural installations and Pedraglio’s text.
The project started miles away from FormContent’space and probably years ago when Michael left his hometown Newcastle and moved to London to study. He connected the familiar geometries and symmetries of a labyrinthine Newcastle estate first to his own sculptures and afterwards to FormContent’s space. In the book, as in a mirrored reality, the process is reversed and the sculptures appear for the first time in a staged environment inside FormContent’s peculiar brick arch and are then dispersed in the complexity of Newcastle’s architectonic spaces. The double shift brings together a feeble distinction between outside and inside through a continued reinvention of possible symmetries, similarities and polarities between the spaces and the objects.
The book is structured as a collection of images and artworks by Micheal Dean, independently juxtaposed with sentences from a text written by Francesco Pedraglio. Francesco engages with the work of Michael which further informs and internalizes his act of writing. The image and the text run parallel one to another, not hiding a certain reciprocal independence but at the same time functioning simultaneously, since they have been developed in constant dialogue and exchange.
And so it becomes possible to spot delicate symmetries between Pedraglio’s text and the images of Dean’s installations, and even between the lines of text and the words that compose Michael Dean’s works. All of these cross references make Mirrors and Mirrors a solid and unique book project based on the development of Dean’s practice as an artist-bricoleur and the reciprocal influences on art writing between Pedraglio and Dean.
Caterina Riva and Pieternel Vermoortel