Human share a psychologically inseparable bond with their images and reflections. It is through facing this optical illusion resulting from specular reflection on an object surface that we learn and recognize what we look like and who we are. During the early stage of infants, we started to face the persons in the mirror and tried to reach out to and interact with whom we considered as existing and real as “The Others”, until the moment we realized that those hallucinations are actually reflected duplications of ourselves. Then as we grow up, our mirror images function more and more like a certification to our self-esteem and self-identification. We fix our sights and thoughts on how we look in the mirror or on the photos, and how others would define and judge our images as if they are actually confronting the real us. More or less, we are so bonded to our reflections, reflected by our reflections, and unconsciously defined by our reflections.
As a research and experiment trying to break the bond between human and their reflected images, this project of interactive installation will be presented in the form of a video mirror which allows the audience to manipulate and transform their reflections by using their gaze. Wherever the audiences stare at themselves in the mirror, the deformation and transformation effects will prevent them from confronting their “normal” images and thus create a moment of disassociation and alienation between the object self and reflected self, and even cause a disorder of the self-recognition.
Framed by the metaphor of the mirror, and developed from the mythological context of Medusa and her supernatural gaze power that transform the living objects into stone, this installation functions as an adapted version of Perseus’s enchanted shield. Through the shield, the gaze of Medusa is thrown back to her own body and bites herself with an inevitable punishment of petrification. Thus, people who stare at this mirror becomes Medusa and will trap themselves into the circles of an endless metamorphosis.