Illusion Mirrors, 2023On View during Ashes & Sand at Schloss Hollenegg for Design (AT)
Realized with the support of Culture Fund Eindhoven.
57 x 37 x 1,2 cm, 57 x 35 x 1,2 cm, 13,5 x 24 x 1,2 cm
The illusion mirrors appear to be metallic objects but are, in fact, glass forms obtained through kiln carving.
Heat-resistant felt is cut into a shallow mold, in which a flat glass sheet is slowly melted and transformed into haptic bas-reliefs. Successively the glass is coated in silver to become a mirror.1 Because the mirror's surface is not flat, it distorts the image rather than reflecting it faithfully.
The hand mirrors are designed for use in the Saal of Schloss Hollenegg. Philipp Carl Laubmann painted the Saal in 1750 with architectural motifs, which transformed the two-dimensionality of the walls into an exterior space. By holding an illusion mirror, visitors can further immerse themselves in the spaces they are walking through. Together, the mirrors and rooms of Schloss Hollenegg create an analog effect of collision, distortion, and reflection.
1 The earliest manufactured mirrors were pieces of polished obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass. During the early Europe Renaissance, mirrors were made by coating the back of the glass with a tin-mercury amalgam, and the mercury was then evaporated by heating the piece. Mercury vapours are highly toxic and in 1835 the German chemist Justus von Liebig in 1835 invented the silvered-glass mirror. Today, a layer of silver or aluminium is fixed to the glass plates by electrolysis to obtain clear, clean mirrors without shadows or stains.