The Mirror of Narcissus

From Mythological Demigod to Mass Phenomenon

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Beate ­Ermacora, Maren Welsch
texts (German/English) by Julia Brennacher, Lotte Dinse, Beate Ermacora, Christian Hartard, Silvia Höller, Markus Neuwirth, Susanne Petersen, Dieter Ronte, Jürgen Tabor, Peter Weiermair, Maren Welsch, Sylvia Zwettler-Otte
160 p with 100 ­coloured illustrations
300 x 220 mm, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-030-6

(out of print)

A major exhibition with inter­national participants is set to grace the Galerie Taxispalais in Innsbruck. Accompanied by an extensive catalogue, it intends to interpret the popular Narcissus theme, not merely from the mythological angle – Narcissus is considered to be the godfather of painting  – or as a mirror image of Freudian psychoanalysis – but in particular to place the theme in the context of gender discourse. According to one of the theses, it is only through the blurring of gender roles that a masculine physical self-awareness has come into play, which, with vain self-reflection, blatantly and radically parades a different part of the essence of feeling, some­where between denial and delu­sions of grandeur, as in works by Urs Lüthi, Niklas Goldbach, Ely Kim, Helmut Schober or Anan Tzukerman. And where the artists, Narcissus-like, no longer encounter themselves and instead, the mirror has been turned on the viewer, then we see a tendency ­towards total dislocation and self-reflection – as in the case of Luis Camnitzer, who has incorporated a mirror in a photographic self-portrait in such a way that viewers unavoidably have themselves in their own sights. Removed from the stereotype of male behavioural roles, it is possible to discern a far-reaching social change, which has only taken place in recent years and represents a set of current social sensibilities markedly different from those that obtained in the previous century.

Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, 1/12/2012–10/2/2013