[The mirror] makes this place that I occupy at the moment when I look at myself in the glass at once absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it, and absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived it [the site] has to pass through this virtual point which is over there.
—Michel Foucault, “Of Other Spaces”
Within the AC [Chapel] and along the AC [Direct] exterior walls are two site-specific installations by Australian artist John R. Neeson. Northern Light and Fugitive Light are based on the architecture, variations of light and light sources within the AC galleries. Through precise compositions of both actual and painted representations of mirrors, Neeson creates mimetic representations of fragments within the internal and external spaces. Each installation requires the passage of the observer through it in order to complete the work.
In Northern Light, parallel lines of beveled, rectangular mirrors alternating with tromp l’oeil representations of these mirrors, are placed on opposite walls of the AC [Chapel]. The mirrors reflect the light and architecture of the space as well as each other, while the painted representations replicate the mirrors they replace within the line. The installation fluctuates between a phenomenological and visual experience of both Neeson’s work and the space it occupies.
Located on the AC [Direct] exterior walls is Fugitive Light. In this installation, circular, concave mirrors sequentially reflect and distort aspects of the area and variations in the lux of its illumination and surrounding structures. The work is fluid, illusive, transitory and like all of Neeson’s installations, site-specific.
About the Artist
John R. Neeson lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. He has a PhD from Monash University (Melbourne) and has completed post-graduate work at The Royal College of Art (London). Since 1993 he has completed 27 site-specific installations. In addition he has held numerous solo shows and participated in major group exhibitions at such venues as The Museum of Modern Art at Heide (Melbourne), Royal College of Art (London), World’s Fair (Seville), Museum of Contemporary Art (Brisbane), Gasworks (London), Fondazione Bevilaqua La Masa (Venice), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). He has received multiple residencies, grants and awards. Neeson’s work is held in collections through Australia.
Image courtesy the artist.