Mirror Pieces places three different-but-linguistically-similar phrases in a series of mismatched mirroring pairs, giving hallucinatory space to the contradictions and connections of their semantic and visual content. By alternating the letters between five different neon colours (red, white, pink, yellow, blue) the work adds a further layer of visual pollution and cross-fertilisation, creating a complex letter-field in which variation, difference and connection shift across the work in all directions.
Mirror Pieces was produced for Order Cannot Help You Now at Argos in Brussels, during KunstenFestivalDesArts 2014.
About Tim Etchells’ neon and LED works
Etchells’ neon and LED pieces often draw on his broader fascinations as an artist, writer and performance maker, exploring contradictory aspects of language – the speed, clarity and vividness with which it communicates narrative, image and ideas, and at the same time its amazing propensity to create a rich field of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Through simple phrases spelt out in neon, LED and other media, Etchells strives to create miniature narratives, moments of confusion, awkwardness, reflection and intimacy in public and gallery settings. Encountering the neon sign works, in the streets of a city or in the space of a white cube gallery, the viewer becomes implicated in a situation that’s not fully revealed, or a linguistic formulation that generates confusion or ambiguity. As often in Etchells’ work, in the neons the missing parts of the picture are as important as the elements that are present. Invoking a story, or projecting an idea out-of-context, the work invites us in, but into what exactly we can’t be sure.