‘Introspective’, solo exhibition by Lyndsey Wardrop
Mirror, mirror on the wall… We live in a society preoccupied with the self: self-assured, self-obsessed, self-proclaimed. Self Propaganda. The sinister sounding selfie. It is an age of the ascendancy of the individual. Like a bunch of Narcissi, we are in danger of being seduced by our own self-regard – in danger of the very same peril that befell the eponymous Greek bent double in admiration over his reflected image in the pool on Mount Helicon. Pride and vanity bind us in a futile passion that can manifest itself in a profound self-centredness: a self curved in on itself.
Incurvatus in se*
Curved in on itself
It is the absence of our anticipated reflection that confronts us with Portrait. These mirrors seem to absorb rather than reveal our images, devouring any vain attempts that we may have to perpetuate an artificial youth; death-masks to a host of Dorian Grays. Our gaze is not reflected but deflected from the self to the other: whose portraits are these anyway? Untold multitudes of reflections of unwitting subjects are gathered; entombed and embedded, these are the monumental witnesses on the wall. Mirror, mirror, we enquire, but instead it is our selves that are addressed.
text by Jonathan Middleton
* from: homo incurvatus in se (humanity curved in on itself) – a notion concretized by Martin Luther but originating from Augustine of Hippo.