ExhibitionsCurrently on View

Mina Zarfsaz
Dead Ringer
December 1, 2017–January 21, 2018
The Conference of the Birds, Folio from an illustrated manuscript, Author: Farid al-Din `Attar (ca. 1142–1220), Artist: Habiballah of Sava (active ca. 1590–1610), Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
The Conference of the Birds, Folio from an illustrated manuscript, Author: Farid al-Din `Attar (ca. 1142–1220), Artist: Habiballah of Sava (active ca. 1590–1610), Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper

To mirror something is to provide an accurate image or a re-presentation that faithfully copies what is being mirrored. Dead Ringer iterates the re-creation of the mirror space; it reconstructs what seems to be a reflection, but deliberately confounds the viewer by the elements that don’t necessarily reflect.  At first glance objects seem to be in identical arrangements that repeat in a mirror-like space, but upon close inspection one realizes there is a gap between their presuppositions and the reality the work offers their senses.

This installation also speculates and re-speculates the reality of sound and sound-reflection by emphasizing the experiential conditions of mirroring and the differences that emerge in repetition. The audio tracks are excerpts of text from Gertrude Stein’s “The Making of Americans” where Stein employs a limited vocabulary and relies heavily on the technique of repetition as a sensemaking mechanism.

The piece also taps into the artist’s inspiration by Attar of Nishapur’s “The Conference of the Birds,” a celebrated literary masterpiece of Persian literature in which Attar in some ways assures that the individual self is but an illusion, and all truth resides in self-annihilation.

Dead Ringer creates a space for tuning one’s eyes and ears to the repetitions of elements that bring one in contact with the world through sensorial probing where seeing is more like touching than depicting. And, like touch, hearing is a form of visual perception.