In TSUDA Michiko’s exhibit of ‘Occupants and King in the Configuration Forest’(2010), the walls and floor form a uniformly black space wherein oversized mirrors can be moved in succession by a woman and a man. The multiple mirrors which have been placed at oblique angles to the camera reflect them as they cross in front, but on closer examination, within the mirrors are mirrors that reflect nothing at all as they vanish into them. As if trying to provoke us as we realize this, they skillfully use the reflected images being recorded by the camera, beginning to disturb us as though trying to make us understand the arrangement of the space.
There is a great deal of history and tradition to the mirror as depicted in painting, as well as its development, Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” (1656) being an especially famous example. In the mirror hung on the wall far behind young Queen Margaret depicted in the painting, there are the images of the king and queen standing before it. In effect, the viewer of the painting shares the privileged point of view of the king.
This ‘Occupants and King in the Configuration Forest’ series, from the basic fact that we do not see what the camera does not shoot, we are made aware that the viewer shares the camera’s gaze. Simultaneously, this work gives us the opportunity to guess the arrangement of the space not through the reflection of a mirror that directly faces us, but by its oblique placement. You could say that we don’t make use of the reflection of the mirror directed at itself, but rather that the mirror becomes a passageway that opens up a view to the external space.