udo rein

I'll be your mirror

Smooth. Shiny. Superficial. The picture dazzles me with its many forms and an indefinable number of colours and shades. The picture repels me and at the same time draws me under its spell. Painting. Collage. Photo. Writing. Sculpture on the surface.
What is collected here?
What connections should I become entangled with? What should I not see?
Should I see anything at all or should the irritating surface lead me to other perceptions and states of consciousness?
I can see something you do not see. Is that what the artist intended?

On first glance even my feelings become vague, almost dizzy
around the themes suggested. War. Slavery. Pain. Androgyny.
Friendship and love.

I feel invited to look more deeply. Yes, even compelled.
Something in my unconscious leaves me no rest.
The picture forces me into the depths of consciousness.

Is the smooth surface a trick? Is this trick meant to bring me to my own perceptions, however superficial my first look is?

Is the surface not smooth? Perhaps I, the quickly discerning person
of the 21st century, have become a surface myself through our
media society?

Resistance is aroused in me! I am not smooth. I am not surface.
I have learnt that I must see beyond the surface, even surfaces offered me. Under every surface, the depth of life, the depth of perception and consciousness is still there. The depths often slumber hidden behind numerous pictures, colours and movements. It is a matter of discovering it.

I think of the shark which I saw before I saw the first picture. The shark is the depths and the depths are dangerous, if we believe the myths. The depths are above all dangerous when we lose awareness. The wakefulness in interacting with each other and our environment.

When I begin at the surface, looking and taking my time, I can dip into many stories.

Suddenly the picture has the effect of a mirror, with its smooth, shiny surface. A mirror that speaks to me. It tells stories from my life in pictures. A mirror that speaks to me of my life and offers me pictures which I, in my superficiality, all too often overlook in my everyday life.

I can see my soul in the depths of the mirror picture. I try to defend myself and think that here, again, an artist has put too much biographical detail onto a panel.


However, my feelings take over and my thinking becomes friendlier, clearer. I become indifferent to the world of the artist.

I can see into my soul.
I can see the things that I am happy to overlook in myself and in my world. War is not far away. It is in me and what pictures do I have that are connected to it?

Slavery is not a thing of the past. I can see it and why do I look away when I meet it?
Pain is in me already. How can I accept it and how can I transform it into a strength that can help me?
Androgyny is at first a muddled brew in my soul. I am a man and see the woman in my reflection. That is not my wife. That is me and I am female. Will the other half of the universe open up for me if I discover the feminine side of myself and bring it to the surface?
How will my encounters change? Man and woman in our society, in one picture, equally visible and of equal significance.

Friendship is black. Friendship is recognition in the other, in the different and that was art in its original meaning. Do I really want friendship with the different?

If not, do I have friends or doubles of myself? What then do I know of the world? It becomes clearer and clearer to me that my mirror image can free me from my narrowness. I can smile.
Meeting myself in this reflection has overcome my spiritual confinement and this is happening in a pleasant way.

The energy of the picture, conveyed through forms and colours, calms me. Takes me into its arms. Embraces me.

The artist is generous. He wants me to look into my mirror and grow.
I see love and I see the power of loving in my mirror image.
I have to allow that. That is what the artist must have wanted and what art must allow, that it is a matter of love and love alone when we meet each other as people.

One task of art is to keep us looking at all the pictures and stories offered to us today.

We should not let ourselves be led by smooth surfaces.
We should use them as mirror images and discover in ourselves the pictures and stories which we see when we look for them and which allow us to grow.

Christian Jacobs, July 2006.





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