Program Notes by Filmmaker:
This is Not a Mirror is inspired by the idea that no matter how hard a person tries, one can never see what they truly appear as in reality. On a physical level, one must always view themselves via reflection, photograph, shadow, or other means of duplication. It is impossible to step out of your body to take a true look at yourself the way the rest of the world is able to.
On another level, a person is constantly being filtered through other people and society. If no external forces ever affected someone, how would they have developed on their own? As a woman, I’ve come to know that we are constantly held under a microscope--beauty, docility, and sexuality becoming cornerstones of what it means to be a woman. Those constant pressures lead to a loss of identity; what is truly me and what is influence?
My vision for This is Not a Mirror came from a dream, surreal images of blank eyes and a room of mirrors haunting me, my own self following me wherever I go in a bank of shop windows.
I’ve always enjoyed the styling of Maya Deren, her strong yet subtle feminine viewpoint of the world acting as a breath held at bay--a calm before the storm. Her style has heavily influenced this piece as well as many other of my pieces.
In addition to Maya Deren, I’ve always pondered the concept of Rene Margritte’s 1928 painting “This is not a Pipe”. While it is in fact a “pipe” it is only an illustration of a pipe and not a pipe itself. With that in mind, the duplicated images of a person are not the person itself. A video representation of me, is still not me--nor is a mirrored image, shadow, or photograph of me. They are only filtered images of a girl.