some ways of looking

Dan Graham
Graham’s «Cinema,» which today exists only as an architectural model, is integrated into a typical office building. The «Cinema» is located on the ground floor of a corner building, in which on the side facing the street corner a slightly curved projection screen made of two-way mirrored glass is inserted. (We see only a flat plane instead of a cylinder segment in the model.) The passerby on the street can see the film, without sound and reversed, and, depending on the lighting in the film itself (that is, depending on whether or not a film sequence is very bright) can look through the projection wall at the cinema audience. In contrast, the side walls of two-way mirror glass do not allow the passerby to see inside during a film screening, since the streets are normally more strongly lit than the interior of a cinema is by the film projection, so that the glass façade becomes a mirror from the outside. Before and after each film screening, however, the movie audience inside can be seen as it disperses or assembles anew.When light from within and outside strike the glass in equal measure, the facade is both semi-reflective and transparent. Spectators on both sides can observe both themselves, their space, and those within, observing themselves, within their own space.


Carolee Schneemann "Meat Joy" (1964)

Free Fridays is on hiatus but will be back, and interactive, in 2 weeks.

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