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Between Being and its Semblance

2021 - 2022 
series of paintings
oil on canvas


Between Being and its Semblance were an ongoing series of paintings, developed over time between late 2020 and mid 2022.

The series was developed in relation to close studies of the concept of ’The Mirror Stage’. This is considered a stage in the psychological development of the self, in which one’s material being breaks down and fragments, in order to (re)build.

The theory of The Mirror Stage was conceived by psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan, and later developed by feminist psychoanalyst and philosopher Julia Kristeva. The theory is based around the process of establishing a concept of self - through forming a connection between the self and the physical body; becoming aware of where one’s own body ends and where the body of another begins. Through identifying one’s own movements in a (mirroring) surface, an understanding and definition of one’s self is outlined. It is a process of fragmentation and of unity; as we are confronted with our own materiality - moving from fragmented body parts into a united self.

The Mirror Stage places us between subject and object positions. In the process we excist between being subject and object - we are neither and both. The mirror itself also plays a role as being in-between subject and object; situated on the border, which it both erases and underlines.

The Mirror Stage further links to for example the concepts of performativity and of the abject - to fluid understandings of bodiliness, and the material body’s relation to identity.

The title of the series emanate from Lacanian Screen Theory - originally from Lacan’s essay on The Mirror Stage, and later developed into a Marxist-psychoanalytic film theory linked to, for example, the feminist film theories of Laura Mulvey - all revolving around identification through a ’mirror image’. Hence, The Mirror Stage opens for further readings of identification and representation.

Betamax_NILS STÆRK_003_Photo by David Stjernholm (korrigerad färg).jpg

Between Being and its Semblance (I & II)
205 x 130 cm

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