Mirros and cameras – in this case a video camera – are the tools of self-reflection which the artist applies in her work. Following a traditional subject, which has found ever new and alternative figurations in the history of Western art – from Parmigianino’s “Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror” (1523) to Claude Cahun’s “Self-portrait (reflected in mirror)” (1928) or Francesca Woodman’s “Self-Deceit 1” (1978), to name only a few – the artist scans her reactions on a reflecting surface and records them analytically, as part of the process of self-reflection, with a camera.
Excerpt from the video
The “polar inertia” of travelling on the motorway is mirrored on the face of the artist and becomes a self-portrait. In the trembling vanity mirror of the passenger seat the fragility of subjection, a sense of unease, is reflected. The camera records these together with their own motions; it registers the kinetic energy that the drive exercises on the body. It reveals the anxieties soothed by habituation and the aggressive power hidden in the banal act of car driving.
Danger lurks in the aerodynamic forms; the airbag, a possible rescue, associates the potential risk, the interruption of the film.
The soundtrack opens up a further narrative level, the loud noise of the motor is partly drowned out by the car radio: two texts from audio books can be heard, fragmented, repeatedly interrupted: a brief passage from “Psychopolis” by Ian McEwan, which associates the discomfort in the interior of a car with blood and shame, and two text fragments from the book “Verbrecher und Versager” (“Criminals and Failures”) by Felicitas Hoppe, which hold the promise a narrative, yet do not deliver; they fail the crime...
* “Polar Inertia” Paul Virilio, London: Sage 1999.