Small Spectacle about Nearness

Lauri Astala

A semi-transparent mirror hangs in the centre of a long, symmetrical space. Two chairs are positioned symmetrically on either side of the mirror. Over the mirror hangs a swinging lamp that illuminates the two sides of the mirror alternately. Depending on the direction of the light, the mirror is either reflecting or transparent. Owing to the symmetrical configuration of the space and the chairs, the viewer sees him/herself and the other people in the room alternately disappearing and reappearing. Sitting symmetrically in the chairs, two viewers see their reflection in the mirror changing into the other person in time with the swinging of the lamp.

Production Year
Original Title
Pieni spektaakkeli läheisyydestä
Finnish Title
Pieni spektaakkeli läheisyydestä
English Title
Small Spectacle about Nearness
Production Countries
Lauri Astala (Author)
Press Photos
Lauri Astala lives in Helsinki, Finland and Avalon, France. He graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1989 and Chicago Art Institute in 2001. Astala is one of of the most distinguished media artists in Finland. He makes sculptures, videos and installations, that concentrate on our concepts and experiences of space and the ways in which cultural structures shapes them. His works have been presented at numerous solo and group exhibitions since 1989, including Eyebeam in New York (2013), Helsinki Art Museum (2010) KUMU art museum in Tallinn (2008) and Institut finlandais in Paris (2008). In 2007, Astala was awarded with the Finnish State Prize for Visual Arts.