The Hole

 

Video Interactive Installation 2011

          When we look in a mirror, we can only see the front of our face. In other words, we cannot see the back of our head. However, if we have several mirrors, we can see from other angles in order to see other parts of our bodies.

          The purpose of the hole is to demonstrate how real figures cannot be reflected in a mirror. According to Lacan, a French psychoanalyst, a symbolic mirror reflects one’s inner beauty and ugliness at the same time. This contains two contradictory meanings: narcissism and Medusa’s mirror. 

          “Not To Be Reproduced” was painted by Rene Magritte, and shows a grotesque image. This is the basic purpose behind the hole: I wanted to show this kind of contradictory situation with installation art. To that end, I designed an interactive device. I thought a well would perfectly demonstrate contradictory images. 

          When people approach a well, they expect to see their face reflected in the surface of the water. However, its depth and darkness alter what they see. In addition, viewers find themselves in mysterious surroundings while they watch their own reflection in the water surface.  The vague shapes on the surface of the water appear to be a human figure. It appears in the deep, dark well water. It is a dreadful image from the past. 

     

 

          My installation suggests a surreal idea.  Although viewers expect to see their faces in the water’s surface, they cannot in fact see themselves.  They can only see the back of their heads.  In the end, this causes various reactions and unusual emotions. 

          I achieved this by setting up a small camera under the roof. This camera shot the inside of the well in real time. When a viewer looks under the hole, they can see the back side of their head. It’s unexpected. The screen that is set up under the water shows the back of the viewer, although it spears to be a reflected image on the surface of the water. 

Copyright © May 2018 by Dongjun Kim