Lisa Ricci
an absence that is almost a presence
2000
mirrors, xylene transfer, hardware, velvet, ribbon
installation view, variable
This installation explores the moment of loss through photography and memory. The materials and craft symbolize the daguerreotype. The reflective portrait creates a ghostly apparition of a loved one lost. Throughout our life, we make friends, meet lovers, form families. In time, these individuals pass away, grow apart, lose touch, and burn bridges. What remain in their absence are memories and photographs.

These images are from photographs I own of people who are no longer in my life. Mirrors nearest the floor represent those who are deceased, and ascend by stages of loss from childhood to adulthood. In this way, the mirrors simulate the use we have for photographs in keeping memories alive. Those near the bottom have the least detailed reflection but the image can be viewed easily (the memory is fading but the portrait is a physical reminder). Those near the top have the clearest reflection, but are too high to view directly (the memory is fresh and a photograph unnecessary). These “ghosts” are representative of everyone’s absence.

This installation features over 125 photographic portraits transferred onto mirrors, mounted with hardware and dressed with black velvet and ribbon. The mirrors, ranging from 2 inches to 6 inches in diameter, are installed at a 90-degree angle to the wall. A single light source illuminates the mirrors, casting the reflections of faces. Dimensions variable, this installation at a gallery in Boston, MA is about 5 feet by 9 feet.

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