Black and white image of airplane with birds in the background
Carlos Amorales
Mexican, b. Mexico City, 1970
Dark Mirror
Two-channel video; color; sound; 6:14 min.
Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2007 (07.83)

Born in Mexico City and educated in Amsterdam, multimedia artist Carlos Amorales explores how images can be recycled and reinterpreted across cultures and contexts. In 1999, he created the Liquid Archive, a bank of digital drawings—including silhouettes of birds, trees, skulls, and butterflies—which he both uses in his own work and makes available to other artists. To create this two-channel video, Amorales invited a graphic designer, André Pahl, to animate a selection of these drawings and a composer, José María Serralde, to create a score. Dark Mirror presents a series of apocalyptic scenes that combine traditional symbols of danger, such as wolves and spiders, with contemporary images of terror, such as falling airplanes.

In a museum setting, the two parts of this video are projected on opposite sides of a hanging screen, so that viewers cannot see both at once. In this online presentation, you can use the arrows to flip between them.