Janieta Eyre, The Mute Book, #2, 2009 black and white, selenium toned fibre print, edition 1/5, 73.7 x 99.1 cm photo: courtesy of the artist

Janieta Eyre, The Mute Book, #2, 2009 black and white, selenium toned fibre print, edition 1/5, 73.7 x 99.1 cm photo: courtesy of the artist

 My Evil Twin is the third and final exhibition of the MacKenzie’s Mirror Series, which explores how mirrors, mirroring and doubles are used to perform a formal and cultural critique in contemporary art.The MacKenzie Art Gallery is pleased to present the work of four internationally acclaimed artists in the exhibition My Evil Twin, on view October 3, 2009 – January 24, 2010. This exhibition responds to society’s fascination with multiple births (think “Octomom” and “Jon & Kate Plus 8”) by exploring how representations of twins and doubles in contemporary art function as a sign of social anxieties. My Evil Twin features the work of four artists: Janieta Eyre and Kristan Horton from Toronto, Maria Hupfield from Vancouver and Julian Rosefeldt from Berlin, Germany.

 While society is enthralled with multiple births, the public reactions today are not necessarily the same as those of the past. Commenting on this topic, anthropologist René Girard observes that “in some primitive societies twins inspire a particular terror. It is not unusual for one of the twins, and often both, to be put to death.” According to Girard, theloss of clear differences, embodied in the shared identity of twins, is the underlying source of people’s fear.

 “Of course, apart from diaper bills, no-one considers twins to be a harbinger of evil today. Nevertheless, the device of the ‘evil twin’ continues to pop up in popular culture pairings such as Austin Powers and Dr. Evil, Battlestar Galactica’s Boomer and Athena, and The Simpsons’ Bart and Hugo to name a few,” says Timothy Long, Head Curator at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. “Each artist featured in My Evil Twin presents a representation of the double that can be related to fears that have their root in the loss of differences which have shaped recent experience in contemporary society in recent years.”

Together, the work of Eyre, Horton, Hupfield and Rosefeldt form a narrative that grapples with the human need to shape our individual identities, not out of fear, but out of an understanding of our desires for difference and semblance.

This exhibition is curated by Timothy Long and will be accompanied by a catalogue, being produced later this fall, which will be available through the MacKenzie Art Gallery.

My Evil Twin is the third and final exhibition of the MacKenzie’s Mirror Series, which explores how mirrors, mirroring and doubles are used to perform a formal and cultural critique in contemporary art.  The first exhibition, Let Me Be Your Mirror, took place in 2008, with the second, Double Space, taking place in 2009.

Image: Janieta Eyre, The Mute Book, #2, 2009
black and white, selenium toned fibre print, edition 1/5, 73.7 x 99.1 cm photo: courtesy of the artist