30/09/2006 — 11/11/2006

Jordan McKenzie

Untitled: Dark Mirror

Jordan McKenzie 'Untitled: Dark Mirror', installation Grundy Art Gallery

photo: Jonathan Lynch

Jordan McKenzie is a British artist based in London. His practice explores drawing and the process of mark making in relation to the body. For this Grundy exhibition, McKenzie has been commissioned to produce a new work - Untitled: Dark Mirror.

Untitled: Dark Mirror consists of sixty mirrors, hung side by side around the walls of a single gallery space. The mirrors, collected from second-hand shops and car-boot sales, have been sandblasted and the resulting opaque non-reflective surfaces graphited over. Accompanying the installation is the faint sound of graphite being drawn upon glass. McKenzie’s labour intensive and time consuming process, has removed the original reflective quality of the mirrors, and replaced it with a dark polished surface. A reflective quality remains however, and the objects retain their identity, encouraging the viewer to make attempts to catch their reflection, not quite visible but not quite invisible. To view oneself in these dark surfaces requires active engagement with the work.

During the exhibition private view, McKenzie will perform 'Drawing Breath', his acclaimed performance work. Approaching one audience member at a time, the artist takes hold of their hand and places it on his chest, clasping it there whilst slowly breathing in and out once. He then moves to a small table where he sits and takes a paper bag and covers it in charcoal, before walking towards a wall where there is a taped rectangle corresponding to the height and width of his body. He then blows into the bag and bursts it against the wall. Through the sound of the bursting bag and the charcoal marks on the wall, the artist creates a visible and dramatic representation of human breath.


Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.