“The mirror creates, as it were, a hole in the wall’ a door onto the realm of the dead” – Arnaud Maillet, The Claude glass: Use and Meaning of the Black Mirror in Western Art
3-Days Without Light is a scripted short-film that has formed out of Justin Balmain’s partnership with the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, Marseille, France. Focusing upon a haunted black mirror within their collection, a script has formed referencing the fear and superstition that mirrors have occupied since their development, and subsequent image saturation and representation.
The narrative follows a haunted mirror that permeates throughout the work, from a nondescript period of time to the present-day. We encounter K, a successful career-woman whose anxiety increases as she encounters her reflection, questioning her exterior image within the world. The internal reality that she is ‘doubled’ is alleviated only by the decision to ‘kill her double’, which occurs by avoiding her mirrored image and reflection.
3-Days Without Light is currently being filmed in Melbourne, and the PICA residency will be an opportunity to focus on the editing of a multi-channel video whilst in critical dialogue with PICA curators and others.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Justin Balmain’s research-led approach draws on visual art, video essay and documentary disciplines to create hybrid multimedia works. The work addresses the strategies and functions of objects at the interstice of virtual and actual space, and within the collective imagination. Studio experimentation and collaboration has included cinematographers, performers, painters, writers, industrial designers, ethnographers, curators, activists and pop-musicians.
Balmain’s artwork has been exhibited widely in Australia, Europe, the USA and New Zealand, and received support through the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, Creative Victoria, City of Melbourne, National Association for Visual Arts, the Ian Potter Foundation, the Wassaic Project (New York), and received critical acclaim in the form of prizes, reviews, and is held within public and private collections. Since 2017 he has been engaged in a long-term research-driven residency with Enough Room for Space, Brussels, that continues through visits and discourse.