Reckitt, Helena. 2014. Between Mirrors. Magic Mirror, pp. 1-17. ISSN 9780992884017 [Article]
Official URL: http://www.lux.org.uk/shop/products/dvds/magic-mir...
Abstract or Description
Commissioned by LUX and the artist Sarah Pucill to accompany the distribution of the DVD of Pucill's 2013 film 'Magic Mirror', ‘Between Mirrors’ considers the generative impact of the work of one artist on that of another: in this case that of artist and writer Claude Cahun (1894-1954) on Pucill. Reflecting on the numerous thematic and aesthetic ttropes that connect the two artists’ work, the essay explores the artistic self as porous and relational. Creative reciprocity and fusion between women is highlighted, with the experience being seen and represented through the desiring gaze of another as central to lesbian erotics and creativity. Rather than treating Pucill’s response to Cahun as a straightforward homage, the essay explores the complexity of Pucill's response, including how photographs by Cahun are painstakingly restaged, and how numerous scenes in the film have no visual reference in Cahun. The essay also discusses how Pucill teases out latent qualities of Cahun's work, such as the cinematic qualities of her photographs and the resonances between her visual and verbal expression. Cahun’s own practice of bricolage and appropriation is considered as a fitting antecedent to Pucill’s approach, with antecedents in Oscar Wilde's queer approach to reproduction. Discussing the lack of attention that Cahun received as an artist during her day, the essay posits Pucill’s film as a way for Cahun to be seen that was not possible during her lifetime, but which she herself anticipated hopefully.