Video - installation:

It was made for the exhibition 'Capturing Metamorphoses', curated by Alena Alexandrova, Vladimir Stissi and Martine van Kampen at the Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam, 2010. Watch

"In your eyes I mirror myself. I can dive into them for a long time. A bright light is welcoming me. Even though I see a depth, I am shifting between floating on your gaze and breaking through the wall of your outside. Your physical appearance is a shield, which protects you, which protects us from each other. If there is no place to hide, to play around, no hull, I would never be able to come closer to you […] In a moment you will decide to go, to disappear. When your eyes will no longer follow me our encounter will end. The intimacy is interrupted […] But only within this friction I feel identity, - yours, mine. We are no longer two identities..." (original text fragment from the video).

The exhibition visitor enters a darkened room. There is a stool and a mirror in front of it. Like in a photo booth people are invited to seat themselves, look at their image in the mirror and press the 'freeze' button when they are ready to be photographed. At the moment the visitor presses the button, the head of a male stranger appears superimposed on the image of the visitor's own reflected face in the mirror, replacing their own image and the video starts. The stranger's voice in the video captures this transformation, as he contemplates the presumption of being able to fix one's identity with a single photograph. The shared gaze of the stranger and the visitor binds them and merges them into one identity. The intimate gesture of facing each other exposes an inner confrontation. This forms the subject of the stranger's shared thoughts. At a certain point the man's image disappears. The visitor's male counterpart in the mirror is replaced by a more introverted female counterpart, whose thoughts reflect her preoccupation with how she is perceived by others and what the essence of identity is. While being confronted with these counterparts in the 'mirror' the spectator is followed by their thoughts. Images and sound are not synchronized, as an inner monologue/dialogue is involved rather than a spoken one. The spectator is riveted by the presence of the various personas and his identity irresistibly merges with theirs until the video finishes or until he chooses to leave the booth.