Safety Curtain 2001/2002

Delay in Iron

sator arepo tenet opera rotas In Greek, dromos denotes speed and movement. Palin means, as does retro, to return. Palindrome thus translates into "fast return", a rebound. Whether this results from an alphabetic symmetry (as in the words eye or rotor) or photons bouncing back from a reflective surface, the effect is palindromic.

meta-atem A delay event, a duration, a figuration of movement can evoke this palindromic reciprocation. The Teatro alla Scala image, photographed in the early '50s, then reproduced in a ubiquitous multiplicity of coloured postcards, was re-formulated in the late '60s by Hamilton into an edition of black and white etchings with screenprinted colour additions. A reincarnation of Erio Piccagliani's remarkable photograph has emerged in a sister structure. As implemented in the Vienna State Opera, la Scala Milano looks back at itself in a strangely familiar dislocation. The event becomes a time/space warped reflection. The iron fire curtain that separates stage from auditorium becomes a "retard en fer", transcriptasing the subtitle "retard en verre" applied by Marcel Duchamp to his great painting on glass "The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors."

o grammar go In 1974 Hamilton reached out to touch a mirror and then used a popular method of printing 3D postcards to create a life-size self-portrait. He called the picture Palindrome. The lenticular method of 3D printing is allied to a simpler optical artifice, the Wilson-Lincoln system noted by Duchamp. A concertina-folded surface carries alternating stripes of two different images. Viewed from the left the viewer might see a portrait of President Lincoln (1861–65), from the right a portrait of President Wilson (1913–21) – a time warp. Meditating upon this entertaining trivia he thought to mediate a "mirrorical return". "(Perhaps use prisms stuck behind the glass) to obtain the desired effect".

red now? I wonder Some diners at a London restaurant had the opportunity to sit at a particular table and interact with a painting on a nearby wall. It consisted of a black and white photograph of the restaurant before it was bought and refurbished to become Langan's Brasserie, with the representation of a table setting from the reopened restaurant painted on the lower right area of the canvas. The picture hung in the centre of the panel seen in the photograph – a portrait of itself and its history. Hamilton opens any dimensionality into a mental construct (a delay in protein) – using neuronal agility at a maximum speed of 9 m per second for synaptic transmissions. His ambitions are reminiscent of "The Last Supper", the conceptual masterwork by Leonardo da Vinci, painted for a monk's refectory in Milano. Leonardo extended the layout of tables by adding a virtual table employing the laws of perspective in a highly sophisticated manner.

oh, cet echo Those gathered together in the Vienna State Opera enjoy a special relationship with a particular space, their situation completes the image. The audience, full of anticipation, is tuned to a twinned viewdience. Paintings have often been associated with windows and/or mirrors onto the world outside. That analogy prevails because the convention of central perspective requires the perpendicular section through the cone of vision to be centred in the viewer's eye. Mirrors and windows are a demonstration of this perpendicular section, and so is the gilded frame of a proscenium arch.

no it is opposition When the lights are turned off a mirror is deprived of it's mysterious powers. Nobel laureate Richard Feynman surmised: It would be a great step forward in our quantum-description of nature, if we could understand what happens in a mirror. Just as any mirror image is not a state, but an event, a process in time, so is any view of the world outside a cerebral, electro-chemical fabrication. The onlooker is re/produced by the image.

aide moi o media Albert Einstein, in his efforts to bring coherence to our universe postulated that the speed of light is an unalterable constant of nature, and that "c" is unaffected by the relative motion of a viewer or measuring apparatus. This axiom is no longer generally accepted, having been seriously challenged in recent experiments, some of which are currently in progress in Vienna. In a traditional Einstein space, an observer in front of a mirror accelerated to lightspeed, would have the experience of finally losing his image in the mirror because any reflected photon from the mirror's surface would have to exceed the velocity of light in order to create a mirror-image on the retina of the onlooker.

vitagene: negativ If we accept the notion of light not having an instantaneous presence but a measurable duration for its expansion (no matter how short) any reflection process turns into an event. Therefore; femto-seconds are only a special case of other time-units, whether hours or billions of years. That is why distances of astronomical importance are measured in lightyears.

rever/refer Mirror: old French mirour, modern miroir, from Latin miratorium, from mirari, to admire.

are poses opera? Warning: This image will only appear complete shortly before the lights are turned off.

eye/level Ludwig Wittgenstein: "Some of Russel's or Frege's theories of logic have a flaw in them in the same way as somone's theory that a painted image might also be used as a mirror would have, even if it were only for a single position, where one fails to see that the essence of a mirror is exactly the opposite in that one may deduce from it the position of the body before the mirror, whereas, in the case of the painted image one has to know about the congruence of positions before one can appreciate the image as a mirror image." Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophische Bemerkungen.