Through the Looking Glass

Story Brooke Bowie

Neither pretty nor practical, the Mirror’s Edge art show captures the essence of life in the 21st century as perceived by artists from around the world. The works of painters, sculptors, photographers, and cricket maestros are being exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery.through_the_looking_glass_1

Gallery tours are offered in English or Japanese and provide the opportunity to explore these unique, multinational interpretations of our world. But, be forewarned, an open mind is essential. This exhibit pushes the term “multimedia” to the limits.

Swedish artist Henrik Håkansson and his cricket circus are no exception. This piece evokes either surprise from a “been there, done that” audience, or, at the very least, serves as a soothing, audio backdrop to the rest of the visual chaos.

Other interesting pieces include an eerie, mock science lab by Switzerland’s Thomas Hirschhorn and a humorous video installation involving a “close call,” appropriately entitled Dead Pan.

Not every piece is so obviously wacky.

through_the_looking_glass_2Scenario, an intriguing yet inconspicuous video piece by Pacific Rim artist Rei Kawakubo, challenges the modern vision of the human form. It depicts a troop of androgynous, interpretive dancers in
stuffed, red tunics, giving them a tumour-like appearance.

Also worth seeing is a series of black and white photographs by Japanese-American Hiroshi Sugimoto. Subtle in subject (the innards of various theatres), and beautifully contrasted, the images draw the eye in and leave viewers wondering what is being said.

Although a far cry from traditional oil on canvas, Mirror’s Edge appeals to the artistic mind and modern, worldly thinkers. Catch it while you can, as Vancouver is the only North American tour date
for this unique spectacle of sight and sound.

The Mirror’s Edge art show ran until August 2000.

For future art shows in Vancouver, visit the Vancouver Art Gallery.