by Erie Art Company & Noodlefish
Donna Douglass and David Bennett
Ginny and Vincent Brocki
Grounded Print and Paper
Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority
Exhibition Dates: 4/29/2022 – 9/18/2022
Location: Bacon Gallery
Erie Art Company and Noodlefish presents Narcissus, an immersive environment based on the ancient Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus. In the myth, the old prophet Teriesais tells his mother that Narcissus will live to old age as long as he never sees himself. All who encountered him fell in love immediately, including one water nymph, Echo. She had been cursed by the goddess Hera to only repeat the words of others, never to speak her own. Out of desperation, she attempts to embrace Narcissus only to be rejected. An onlooking goddess curses Narcissus for rejecting Echo. He falls in love with himself upon finding a reflecting pool, and is overcome with his own splendor. Echo watches in horror as her love falls into the water, drowned by his own image. Engulfed by sadness, both perish: Echo from Narcissus’s rejection, and Narcissus from the unrequited love for his own reflection.
As you walk through this contemporary vision of a mythical landscape, notice how your movement activates questions that Echo is trying to convey. Watch as you gaze into your own reflection until you “drown” in the mirror pool and transform into a flower: just like Narcissus.
Each piece shows us an image of ourselves. The altered mirrors and reflective sculptures provide another avenue of contemplation as they bounce distorted images throughout the exhibit while the viewer wanders down the path to the water pool. In the age of the selfie, this installation considers our collective fixation on self image. Self-reflection is a healthy process, but we cannot only rely on what we see in the mirror, or online.
Each artist involved with Narcissus infused their own voice into the thematic structure of distorted reflection as they held and imagined each piece. What obstacles do we overcome to envision ourselves? What questions do you ponder but do not speak? What do we see that others do not?
The artistic team for Narcissus: