Mirror Cells

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide features commentary by four of the exhibiting artists and Jane Panetta, associate curator and co-curator of Mirror Cells.

Installation view of Mirror Cells (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 13—August 21, 2016). Photograph Genevieve Hanson

Elizabeth Jaeger: My name is Elizabeth Jaeger.

I guess something that could be interesting to know is the amount of failure involved in these specific vases. I think I've made twenty to twenty-five of them, and less than ten have survived. They're kind of this design that makes no sense. I feel like I'm shooting myself in the foot. It was intentional for them to look like they're about to fall over, but the consequence is that most of them fall over.

My initial intention was to make something deceitful, where from the side it appears much different than from the front. Through this process of having so many of them fail or be rebuilt—if they fall, I have to cut off half of them and start over—it became about salvaging or saving something.

I had this moment with a friend where we were talking about what they were about, and he was talking about how you can't really get inside of them. I had this moment where I realized they're very much about my grandfather, in the sense of, he has dementia. I grew up with him, and when I was old enough to get to know him, he was already losing his mind. Having this conversation with this friend I realize it all at once, that I was making this thing that was really physically challenging, but at the end was completely useless, or inaccessible, or difficult to parse out. That was related to trying to get to know someone who's losing their mind, in a way.