Joan Jonas, Mirror Check

mirror check

In her performance piece Mirror Check (1970), Jonas stood nude with a small, round mirror and examined details of her body looking into it the entire time, seeing “a succession of places unfolding in time”, while the audience watched from a distance of thirty feet. The audience, unable to see the reflected images, had to experience them vicariously through Jonas’s descriptions and reactions. Jonas has said, “It’s the shamanistic idea—the performer goes through the actions so that the audience can experience them also. It takes you into a space that you wouldn’t otherwise be in”. The artist was greatly struck by the discrepancies between what the mirror, the camera and the viewer saw.

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2 Trackbacks

  1. By Room with no view | ABC Art Gallery on July 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    [...] a small hand-mirror, examining herself, inch by inch. Elbow, crotch, back of the knee. I have seen Joan Jonas’s 1970 Mirror Check before, and once watched it sitting beside Jonas herself, both of us watching someone else being [...]

  2. By Room with no view - News Feed Centre on July 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    [...] a small hand-mirror, examining herself, inch by inch. Elbow, crotch, back of the knee. I have seen Joan Jonas’s 1970 Mirror Check before, and once watched it sitting beside Jonas herself, both of us watching someone else being [...]

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