Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Double- From MaryKate Maher

MaryKate Maher
Statement for “The Double”

Like the Lacanian lesson of the mirror-phase: I constitute myself as Ego only by recognizing myself in the mirror-image-that is, by encountering my virtual double, with whom I then engage in an ambiguous love-hate relationship (loving him because he is like me, hating him for the very same reason, because he threatens to occupy my place). So, in a way there is no ego without its clone double. (Zizek Reader, pg 315)

My project on Yin-Ling is based on the theory of the Doppelganger (面貌極相似的人). From the initial viewing of her work to our topical email conversations (our interests in film, art and culture), I realized we have a similar taste and visual vocabulary. I wanted to address the concept of ‘same’ as twin, or more suitably, as Doppelganger-- a mixture of twin/shadow/counterpart also sometimes portrayed as good vs. evil. I requested a mask of Yin-Lings face, in exchange for a mask of my face. She sent me two. They were paper cutouts and contoured (顯示輪廓的)to my face awkwardly resulting in a strange pseudo twin. I took photographs of myself as ‘Yin-Ling’.

This small video installation is a short looped conversation between ‘two’ people, or rather one entity in two voices. A figure on the screen, we see from the nose up, is engaged in an intimate conversation. Upon further viewing, you realize the face on the screen is wearing a mask and only the eye can be seen through the costumed hole. This project has combined fragments of conversation between Yin-Ling and myself that are factual, mixed with poorly translated information due to our language barriers. I wanted to explore interpretations of ‘secret,’ the vulnerability between two people who presume to understand each other and their exchange of personal information. The viewer becomes privy to this interaction, and becomes an eavesdropper. This piece also relates back to the web-blogging of this project and the sharing of our conversations over the internet, as taglines and phrases are seen out of context.

MaryKate MaherThe Double 2009Vinyl, plaster, t.v., digital video.30” l x 30” w x 36” h.

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