Mirror Masks were designed to reflect the “other”. As research has shown that humans reflect each other with micro-momentary facial movements, I thought it would be fun to bypass that process and show the “other” how they appear directly by looking into the mirror of self.
I am interested in the fusiform gyrus in the human brain in particular and felt this work would also get those areas of the brain to light up. As I was working with these masks I also found they were quite good at reflecting our surroundings and showing the things we are interested in and they became a kind of texture for concern and interest.
Later I was invited to show these works at Glass Axis as part of the Glassquerade curated by Kami Westhoff and created 11 custom mirror masks, for the glass club at The Ohio State University. I took individual measures of each participant so they were custom fit to each glassblower.
I feel a wonderful resonance from the highly reflective states of the masks and the complex transparency and refractive qualities of glass.
Ken Rinaldo at Glass Axis Glassquarade.
Amy Youngs wears Mirror Mask and looks at a woman.
As I watched the use of these masks for the evening at the Glass Axis I observed that the works seem to have a strange disarming effect and somehow push face to face communication, which can often be fraught with self-conscious feedback loops and allow it to emerge into a level of play and fun.
Appearances are only mask deep.
Some of the masks were photographed in environments where staff worked to reflect what they see and think about each day.
Glass Axis Glassquarade, Columbus Ohio 2013
Mirror Masks by Ken Rinaldo invited and curated by Kami Westhoff
ANDERSON GALLERY, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, November 13, 2015.
Mirror Masks in Creating Public Space: The Art and Politics of the Here and Now. Curated and invited by Lenore Metrick-Chen
Design and construction: Ken Rinaldo
Laser-cut reflective plastic with illustrator files custom fit to each face. Measured the eye centers, nose, and mouth distances.
This work can be displayed in a slightly darkened room with a place on the wall or hanging in free space as the animation above
Performance, interactive, fusiform gyrus,