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Visually elusive, evasive, chameleon, cloaked, yet no less present for its invisibility. 

Featured in the new book: Material Operations

Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Size: 288″ x 36″ x 108″
Client: Washington State Arts Commission in partnership with the University of Washington [State Art Collection, WSAC2014.006.000]
Dates: 2015

Visually elusive, evasive, chameleon, cloaked, yet no less present for its invisibility. 

Featured in the new book: Material Operations

Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Size: 288″ x 36″ x 108″
Client: Washington State Arts Commission in partnership with the University of Washington [State Art Collection, WSAC2014.006.000]
Dates: 2015

Mirrors are common to almost every kind of space but they do not occupy space the way common objects do. A mirror is more like a hole in space, or like a crease between one side of a folded space and the other. We don’t look at them, we look into them. It is something like looking from one side of a Rorschach inkblot to the other and, like those suggestive images, there is something in there that we see and then there is something that we see in what is there.

We tend only to concern ourselves with mirrors when it is ourselves that we see in them, but we are usually in them whether we can see ourselves or not. The mirror’s eye follows us from every point on its surface and, when we find our own eye in the mirror, does it not look back with a certain scrutiny that calls for adjustments? From which side of the fold does this call come? Mirrors are not passive, they change our spaces and they change ourselves.

Mirrorfold is a work that attempts to explore the depths of engagement found in mirrors, to draw their activity out, out from hiding in the mundane and into the curious eye. We do very little to the mirrors, simply fold them — an operation that is possible only because stainless steel may be polished to a mirror finish and so the piece is also an investigation into that material. The work is restricted to only three angles of fold, resulting in one repeated triangle. There are only three sizes of triangle, proportionally related. These are the primary elements of the composition. The rest of the composition surrounds and includes the viewer.

Design: Patkau Architects Inc.

Team: John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, Pete Wenger

Fabricators: Quest Metal Works
Installation: Artech

Photography: James Dow, Patkau Architects

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