Oh cet echo

Oh cet echo, 2006
wood, mirror, electronics, black velvet
ca. 75 x 28 x 40 cm

… In Smiatek´s work called Oh cet echo (2006) a complex theatre of relations is set up as regards self-love and rhetorical blindness. Based on the Ovidian myth of ‘Narcissus and Echo’, a shelf with a black velvet cloth, box and mirror is installed, and there is incorporated a voice recorder and switch in the box. The recorder registers the last ten seconds of sound recorded by the viewer of the mirror before it is erased. The symbolic narrative becomes self-evident, the mirror is the instrument of narcissistic self-reflection, the dissipation and erosion of the sound content that of Echo as she wastes away. Yet it opens up further ideas of enormous complexity that Derrida has pointed out in terms of his own seminar and film performance on ‘Echo and Narcissus’. Jacques Derrida makes problematic the relations between the specula image and the voice as ‘speech act’, between sight and voice, Echo (to echo) as repetition to correspondence and appropriation (Narcissus never speaks), and that the mirror image is a form of self-blindness – one never truly sees oneself – that presence (even to oneself) is always in a state of being divided. But as with many of Smiatek´s works, things can also become interchangeable and extended as an idea through each specific installation. For example in a particular installation she included a gouache drawing on paper called Swimming Pool (2003), and with that, she infers, perhaps, as the myth intends, the beauty lies in the pool (or mirror), and is not merely an insubstantial image reflected in it. … (Quote: Mark Gisbourne, Disquiet And The Humour Of Desire)