Through the Looking Glass II
New York City
In the performance Through the Looking Glass II, Gerhard Lang employed an instrument in urban surroundings that had been used by landscape artists painting in the countryside in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Called a Claude Lorrain mirror, this device generates an extremely fine mirror image with a darkened and slightly convex lens. In their studies of picturesque motifs the landscape painters were interested less in what was revealed directly before their eyes than in the mirror image, the mediated image of the setting behind their backs. In Lang’s New York work, however, a further factor came into play: movement, walking through the city, and doing so backwards. A large part of this performance consisted of perceiving the city through its mirror image as Lang walked backwards.
The performance passed through West Village in Manhattan. The work was documented along a section of the route between West 11th Street and Astor Place. There was no obvious starting and finishing point.
For more about the Claude Lorrain
mirror in Gerhard Lang’s work:
Ill. I: West 11th Street, corner West 4th
Street, 21 October 2012
Photographs: Manfred Reiff
Translation: Matthew Partridge
The film "Through the Looking Glass II"
The Drawing Center in New York presents
|Gerhard Lang © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn