Mirror II (v)

Collaborators: Ruwanthie de Chickera
Date: 18th March 2016


Mirror II – Distance is part of the “Mirror” project, a series of two-screen works devised to provide insight into global communities that experience distancing and objectification.

“Mirror” experiments with perspective in order to challenge common human assumptions and provide insight into nuanced personal and collective narratives. The recent work, Mirror II – Distance examines the distances between individuals who occupy, protect and work in worlds that they may not own or belong to.

It is inspired by observations of the Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad - A heavily gated expat community living in the capital city of Pakistan. This enclave is cut off from the rest of the country by high walls and heavy security. Inside the enclave is a network of country and organisational compounds further barricaded from each other. Entry into the enclave and then, within the enclave, entry into the various demarcated territories inside is monitored by local Pakistani guards. These men are privy to the culture, conversations and experiences of the international communities that they are responsible to protect. In this piece, two such Pakistani guards stand watch over the expat compounds they are stationed over. The two men observe each other across a distance as they listen to the visitors, the experts and the specialists discuss Pakistan, its people and its future.

Mirror II Distance uses a cable mounted camera system that films both forward and rear views simultaneously. Central to this installation is the experimental filming format “Collimation” which manipulates perception to provide an illusion of depth and an experience of the sublime.

The project was made in collaboration with the Sri Lankan playwright and theatre director, Ruwanthie de Chickera and with the generous support of the simulation engineers, Geoff and Dan Blackham, at GBVI Ltd. It featured the actors, Akbar Merchant, Dominic Campbell, Louis Gallo, Holger Hille, Simon Kunz, Caroline Loncq, Jessica Rhodes, Deborah Rigby and Anna Versteeg. Location sound recordings were made by Fasi Zaka and access to the diplomatic enclave was supported by the British Council, Pakistan.

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