Audio installation
Walls, white paint, two-way mirror, 3 fluorescent tubes, DXG 48 devise, MP3 player integrated into vintage radio (world receiver), audio file (voice: James Lord), wood plate, newspaper clipping
Dimensions vary with installation
Edition 3 (+1 A.C.)
© Vittorio Santoro

A male voice plays a vital role in the recent installation Untitled (Mask) (2007). The work consists of a whitewashed generic booth fitted with a two way mirror and housing a table and vintage radio – the staged source of a monologue (compiled from a wealth of historical descriptions) on a particular African mask. Fluorescent tubes determine the view from both sides of the portal resulting in a Postmodern game of peek-a-boo that queries the validity of the cultural processes through which one learns to ‘see’. As they fade in and out of illumination the viewer is by turn granted visual access through the structure and presented with their own reflection. This combination of elements – the sterile art setting, evocative vocal and ‘World Service’ implications of the device  – pitch one along the ethnographic path between mystical notions of ‘other’ (and their (mis)appropriation in Western art practices) to the politics of authority and scientific protocol.

Rebecca Geldard
Catalogue Shifting Identities – (Swiss) Art Now, Kunsthaus Zurich, JRP/ Ringier, 2008