Spiegelmund: “mirror-mouth”. Is it the conversation, or lack thereof, with a barber while you get a haircut, looking both in front and behind you? A speech articulate enough to reflect the world? Promotional narcissism? Dubbed as “an open forum for future programming, a reading of live texts, an exhibition of speaking images,” this Friday’s show at Am Flutgraben 3 might be comprised of all three.
It’s worth noting the fourth descriptor, a mouthful or eyeful “weekend-pre-rage salon.” Spiegelmund is set to be the first in a series of such events, conceived as a stop in one’s Friday night before really starting the weekend spiral, lodged between the vernissage and the change of outfit to go out dancing. Attendees are invited not just to project themselves onto the works presented, but also discuss and develop a program for the series’ next event. Following the lead of the Ying Colosseum intervention series, which was held monthly in non-traditional exhibition spaces throughout Berlin in 2016, Spiegelmund sees itself as a nexus for collaboration. Every salon needs a mirror. Depending on who’s looking, it may be a poetry reading, a gallery more inviting than most, or just a spot to get a little raucous off some Spanish wine.
The first edition of Spiegelmund takes as a motif the relation between image and language, either in print or enunciated speech. Visual works exhibited by Matthias Crause appropriate automobile logos, floating concepts like “FOCUS” and “ACCENT” affixed to the wall. A forbidding, coffin- or fortune-teller-like wooden sculpture is accompanied by a text by Patrick Gaden, beginning with “Something to place your loved ones in.” The ‘live texts’ will be read by Katrice Dustin, Caspar Heinemann, Alizee Lennox and Nat Marcus. Or are they the speaking images? And finally, a selection of music will be curated by creo en todo, tracks lingering at the threshold of turn-up but never quite diving in.
Liminal in content and form, the inaugural evening of Spiegelmund should feel like a pleasant question. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in ‘Sonnets to Orpheus’: “Spiegel: noch nie hat man wissend beschrieben, / was ihr in euerem Wesen seid” – “Mirror: never before knowingly described, / what are you in your being?” The difficulty in defining this event may be its greatest strength.