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mirror project - description



"New York Cityscape," Barbara S.J. Kempf

engraved, illuminated mirror, 

150cm x 225cm, New York, 2001


The Cityscape-mirror-idea was created in 1994 on a plane to New York. The artist wanted to recreate the gorgeous Sea of Lights as real as possible and make it visible where ever she lived.


In 1998, Barbara was drawn to the city of the arts that never sleeps, to New York City. Here she wanted to show the engraved mirror to the public in its real environment.

In 2000, she managed to convince a gallery owner in SOHO to show her mirror. In the New York art scene, this means just as much luck as winning the lottery. Victorinox® sponsored her project with a generous donation.


Originally   the    opening   was   planed     on 

8 September 2001. But because the course of the project was delayed, the opening reception for the exhibition was postponed to  8 November 2001.


While Barbara was working on her mirror in a studio on Grand Street in SOHO, a few blocks away from where the WTC-towers collapsed on 11 September 2001, when all feared for their lives. 


To have witnessed this horrendous day and the weeks that followed was a fundamental and existential experience for the artist. The harm on the artist was not only on an emotional level, her working conditions became more difficult, too. To access her studio - located right in the middle of the now declared war zone - she had to be picked up by the owner of the artist studio at a check point on Houston and Broadway and, only after presenting her Swiss passport she received passage. SOHO remained a war zone up to the end of October 2001.


The opening on 8 November 2001 took place under the exclusion of the international art scene. Mostly New Yorkers honored and appreciated the mirror "NY-CITYSCAPE" that showed so clearly the unprotected and vulnerable situation of the city at the time.


One year later, for the memorial day event on 11 September 2002, the Viet Nam Gallery owners on Moore Street (two blocks away from Ground Zero in TriBeCa) chose the New York Cityscape mirror for a group show. It was presented together with Reza Namazi’s movie 9/11

in addition to contemporary art from Vietnam.


In 2009, the mirror was brought to Switzerland on a plane and was shown to the public on two occasions.






Le spectateur a le soleil au dos. De cette position, nous voyons les planètes qui sont plus éloignées du soleil que la Terre. Parmi les planètes, considérées par l’astrologie comme ayant une influence sur la destinée humaine, nous reconnaissons la Terre avec la Lune, Mars avec deux lunes, Jupiter avec 14 lunes et un système de ceinture, Saturne avec 12 ? lunes et un système de ceinture, Uranus avec 5 lunes et un système de ceinture, Neptune avec deux lunes et Pluton avec une lune.


La mesure du temps est traditionnellement fondée sur l’hypothèse de la constance de la vitesse de rotation de la Terre. La Terre fait tourner la roue qui transmet la vitesse du temps. Cette roue actionne tout l’appareil destiné à indiquer l’heure. Le temps passé est représenté par l’histoire de la mesure du temps.


Nous lisons :
 - 1500 avant Jésus Christ, la clepsydre
 - 400 avant Jésus Christ, le cadran solaire
 - 8ième siècle après Jésus Christ, le sablier
 - 1583, l’horloge à pendule
 - 18ième siècle, le chronographe-compteur
 - 1853, la fondation de la manufacture de TISSOT
 - 2003, 150ième anniversaire de TISSOT

La montre de poche et le mouvement de la montre manifestent la mesure du temps. 

La montre est le symbole de l’existence de TISSOT et de la manufacture de la montre en générale.





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