In the whirlwind state of writing, I rarely find myself clear-headed. Creatively distressed, I am agitating for transforming my thoughts into words that can be understood, accepting both the pure creativity of manipulating conventions through writing, as well as the finite nature of being stripped of their uniqueness when rendered public, according to Barthesian didactics. I then become two things, to be interpreted; I either present as my thoughts, usually to myself, or I am perceived as the image of me through text form, speech, image. My unease prevails in the thought of the one not reflecting the other, albeit I am aware of the inevitable skew. But the world makes sense through reflections; of light, of ourselves and others, on mirrors and on water, on the sky and on the screen, on a window or a mirror. What is common amongst them all is the necessity for a token to stand in front of them, in order for the reflection to be exerted, creating in a way a duality of display and existence, of reality and show, of expression and content, separating observer and wearer, frame and street, alternating perceptions through mirror and glass.
There is only one second that deserves to be considered real when looking into a store’s vitrine. The duality of the glass is presented when the screen becomes a reflection; when the intensive stare at the mannequin’s dress momentarily unfocuses, and the glassy eyes of the observer bear the meaning of a new object that stands in front of it, a self already there and as of yet unaware. The light glares, disappearing the presented artefacts in absence of the body and impedes the observer to become the wearer, a stimulus for a chain of interpretations, a merge of overlapping realities. The body is now seen as a reflection, somewhat real but not quite, only partially familiar when looking down; simultaneously dressed in the everyday uniform and in that new outfit of the new collection meant for a slimmer figure. The realization of the multiplicity of these perceptions, created by the opalescence vision through mirror and glass, navigates many identification processes in the sphere of spectator-spectacle segregations that thrive in the realm of fashion.
Göran Sonesson, professor of cognitive semiotics suggests that a mirror is a sign, contradicting Umberto Eco’s opposing arguments. Studying their works I am appalled but relieved that, reflections, like a colorless, always and never vacant associative device of glass, causally create relations between expression and content in a manner that presents multiple dimensions all at once, up for grabs.