Casting procedures cannot turn three-dimensional objects into their own mirror images. Casting in molds, upending, pouring out – no matter what process one may apply, the result is never two mirror-image, symmetrical sculptures. A left-hand glove cannot be turned into a right-hand glove; one has to sew a new one. Aron Mehzion already experienced this at the beginning of the 1990s as a student at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. Since then, this impossible conversion has not let go of his imagination. He has pursued it in the footsteps of Marcel Duchamp, who explored the fourth dimension artistically, and in the footsteps of H.G. Wells, who had his character Gottfried Plattner return from the fourth dimension as his own mirror image, with his heart on the right side of his body.
Four-dimensional space is the site that makes this transformation possible: just as a two-dimensional form can be turned into its mirror image by turning it over on an axis in the third dimension, a three-dimensional figure can be turned over on a surface in the fourth dimension to transform it into its own mirror image. But we have no access to a fourth dimension, and so nothing can be turned over in this way. It lies in the logic of mathematical thinking, beyond our perceptual capacities. The artistic avant-garde that was interested in transgressions of the merely visible was lastingly fascinated by this concept. Cubism, Surrealism, Futurism, Suprematism, and also the Bauhaus and De Stijl explored this conceptual model artistically. But with the suggestion of a five-dimensional space-time – the Kaluza-Klein theory – the reality of a multi-dimensional space lives in contemporary physics’ models of supergravitation and string theory.
Today, mirror-image symmetrical sculptures can be produced technologically, by using 3D printers. In recent years, Aron Mehzion has experimented with this method. The series of works thereby produced has fundamentally approached a four-dimensional perspective, possibly for the first time since Duchamp. Constitutive of his works is the use of semi-transparent mirrors. Placed between two mirror-image symmetrical figures, they permit perfect overlayings or interpenetrations of the mirror image of the one and the view of the other through the mirror. The surface of the mirror thus provides a glimpse that both reflects and penetrates. In interplay with the sculptures, the result is that a hand is simultaneously a right and a left hand. This is not oscillation or a flipping of one possibility into the other, but an indissoluble fusion of the opposites in a single image, perceptible at whatever moment and from whatever angle it is viewed. The arm that is missing in a sculpture is, in the mirror, simultaneously there and not there and simultaneously a right arm and a left arm.
Aron Mehzion’s mirrors let a world appear that cannot be entered, but which is nonetheless present in the realms of possibility of physics and mathematics. His large-format drawings are similar to them. They consist of iterated drawn forms, each of which refers to physical presence, but whose repetition dissolves physical presence. They, too, intimate a perspective, dissolve surface and form, and challenge perception.