The two text-based works displayed, END (mirror)
(2014) and NOW (blue mirror)
(2014), continue Aitken’s work with mirrors both literal and notional. The multichannel video installation Black Mirror
(2011), previously shown at Victoria Miro, also sought to explore the bewildering landscape of modern life, the mirror in this case conjuring an endless present in which physical and virtual reflect one another in infinite regress. A subsequent project by Aitken, MIRROR
(2013) at the Seattle Art Museum
saw giant screens affixed to the exterior of the museum and fed information from the city. Weather patterns, pedestrian traffic, and atmospheric conditions from the building’s surroundings were visualized on screen, turning the building into a mirror of its environment.
The exhibition sets out to explore contemporary ideas of time as well as place. The crystalline appearance of the text-based works recalls J.G Ballard’s novel The Crystal World
, in which time begins a delicious process of arrest. Each letter’s reflective surface captures its surroundings and locks them into a fractured hall of mirrors. These pieces, then, do not simply reflect or embody their surroundings but exacerbate existing conditions in order to make them more visible to us. A land art for 2015 is a kaleidoscope through which we might connect with our disjointed present.