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The atemporal mirror

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As a museological genre proliferating in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the posthumously reconstructed artist’s studio is synonymous with the information age’s impulse to store and retrieve data. Accordingly, historic studios presented as museum artefacts might be thought of as symptoms of ‘a new breed of temporality whereby nothing ever dies’. This article examines the coalescence of present and historical contexts operating within the reconstructed studio of Francis Bacon, relocated from its original location at 7 Reece Mews in London to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Bacon’s blemished, circular mirror is conspicuous amid the detritus in the artist’s chaotic studio. From a sleek object originating in Bacon’s early design career, to its apparent role as a prop in the Reece Mews studio, and its current status as a museum artefact, this mirror has borne witness to the shifting contexts of Bacon’s studio. It can be understood as a portal through which spatial, material and temporal phenomena appear reconfigured. As such, Bacon’s studio mirror will be considered in terms of its potential to exert posthumous influence, and provoke contemporary art practice predicated on atemporality.
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Keywords: Francis Bacon; atemporality; mirror; posthumous studio; studio; studio reconstruction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of New South Wales

Publication date: 01 June 2016

More about this publication?
  • Ubiquity is an international peer reviewed journal for creative and transdisciplinary practitioners interested in technologies, practices and behaviours that have the potential to radically transform human perspectives on the world. "Ubiquity", the ability to be everywhere at the same time, a potential historically attributed to the occult is now a common feature of the average mobile phone. The title refers explicitly to the advent of ubiquitous computing that has been hastened through the consumption of networked digital devices. The journal anticipates the consequences for design and research in a culture where everyone and everything is connected, and will offer a context for visual artists, designers, scientists and writers to consider how Ubiquity is transforming our relationship with the world.
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