During the exhibition On the other side of the mirror Didier Mahieu invites visitors to enter a forest, much like the one in Alice In Wonderland, where people are allowed to experience the parallels between the personal and the universal experience of life.
For his upcoming exhibition, Mahieu will display five dresses dating back to the 1940’s, which he found in an old orphanage in the South of France. The only personal sign on these identical dresses are the stitched-on names, apart from that, they do not reveal any story. Mahieu uses these dresses as a starting point to unveil a narrative about the importance of the primary emotions and the transitional phases throughout one’s life. The idea came to him after watching the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock by Peter Weir. In this movie, three girls escape an orphanage and have to battle their way through a seemingly impregnable forest, in order to reach the other end where liberty awaits them. This is a classic tale on the transition from youngster to adult and all the fears that accompany this phase. Becoming a woman is not the goal of this endeavour but a result of striving for emancipation and self-reliance. Mahieu wants to highlight this universal topic of emancipation through a fictional story about personal liberation. In the exhibition, the dresses are accompanied by his paintings on natural surrounding, portraits and audio fragments. Mahieu invites visitors to enter a forest, much like the one in Alice In Wonderland, where people are allowed to experience the parallels between the personal and the universal experience of life. Didier Mahieu (1961, Belgium) currently lives and works in Gembloux (BE). Mahieu has an art education from l’École Supérieure des Arts Plastiques et Visuels in Mons (BE). His solo exhibitions include three shows at NK Gallery (’18, ’16, ’14), Galerie Rabouan Moussion (Paris, FR), Bozar Museum (’09), the Chelsea Art Museum in New York (’06) Bozar and Mu.ZEE Ostend (’05).