This exhibition explores the analogy of art as a mirror, with its various implications. Mirrors reflect reality or truth, but they also distort, or otherwise give an inaccurate picture of what is tangibly real. Consider the effect produced by a curved mirror, a broken one, a slanted one, a dirty one, a house of mirrors. Imagine the ways in which water falsifies what it reflects. One can put a straight stick in water and find that it appears crooked. Mirrors frequently contort or otherwise misrepresent, as does art. Art can be realistic, or it can be entirely artificial, the fancy of the artist.
We are thus reminded that the words "art" and "artifice" have a common root and are highly intertwined concepts: Art is necessarily not reality itself because otherwise it would not be separate from it. It would be absorbed into that which we call reality. So then, what is art and what are its aims? It may be a representation or bastardization of truth. In this context, artifice is highly useful. It separates art from other things and thereby allows one to use it in self-expression, in a way that does not require language, or that uses a different, extra-ordinary language. Art is not ancillary or secondary to language, rather it's another thing altogether. By comparing art to a mirror, we are forced to consider the implications of such an analogy, in which art may be truth or fiction.
In Aristotle's thinking, art can be a distorted representation of reality, but one which is in some ways more true than reality, or otherwise one that can bring us closer to the truth. According to this view, reality and truth are apart from one another. However, art doesn't always aim to tell the truth or to represent reality. When we consider how art has historically been applied, we recognize that it hasn't always set itself the task of representing what is real in the world. In the Renaissance, for example art's aim was to improve upon nature, which necessarily means that art wasn't intended to be merely reflexive or mimetic. Art, then, may be regarded as "truth" through the lens of someone's, or some culture's, sensibility.