Visual Analysis

727 words - 3 pages

The installation of Robert Smithson’s Mirrors and Shelly Sand embraces isolation as well as personal reflection of one’s self. Throughout the viewing of this piece many reoccurring themes were presented. The positioning of the installation emits a feeling of seclusion .The juxtaposition between the installation and the inner thoughts of humans are present due to the constant travel of this piece. The art is never the same at each location. Finally, the sheer size of the piece, its presentation, and the material used all evoke a sense of self-reflection.
Upon entrance to the museum, you navigate through a long corridor until you reach this large white room, which houses this instillation. The journey, which you take to be able to view the piece, adds to the isolation and vastness the piece seems to be portraying. In addition to the journey, the concept of having it occupy a whole room aids furthermore to the feeling of solitude while the color of the room, which is a sterilized white, further evokes the already quarantined feeling. The white walls, even though common in a museum setting, seem even more pure in contrast with the white sand and the translucent mirrors. Therefore, when all viewed together, makes one feel very insignificant in comparison to this masterpiece.
The concept of the mirrors not only adds visual interest to the piece, but along with the lighting in the room, creates interesting reflections and shadows that surround the viewer. At first glance you would concur that the reason the mirrors are there is to see the reflection of the observer, but that is not its main purpose. Seeing as how the piece is positioned lengthwise, it is difficult to obtain a perfect reflection of your face. Instead all the images, like the ones on the wall, are disfigured and blurred together. As stated above, since there are no windows in the room, the glass seems to be even frailer when compared to the very structured setting of the room. It appears that the glass is precariously positioned in the sand, as if to relate to the thoughts and ideas conjured when viewing the piece....

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