What do you think when you look into the mirror? Do you feel doubt, shame, or as if that couldn’t actually be you? Have you ever longed to fall through the glass and come out on the other side, a different version of yourself?
Alexandra Rose uses reflection as a tool to comprehend what individual identity looks like. Understanding oneself draws Rose into a battle between narcissism and self-love, questioning the self-flattering nature of the self-reflective work she creates. This installation had two lives, first as a private performance where Rose changed from a “masculine” outfit, comfortable on her body, to a red dress that she hadn’t worn in years, examining presentation and gendered appearance. She sat at the mirror and did her makeup, an act that she has been repeatedly told she must do to look professional, or like a woman. After, she used the red lipstick she had just applied to write upon the mirror her feelings and thoughts about what it means to be in her individual body, and all the pressures that are put upon it. The second installation looked further into doubt, fear, and the ego. The words self-love and narcissism that were displayed on the side mirrors are made of selfies that Rose took on her phone documenting all the people she has been, while simultaneously questioning the edited nature of the selfie within social media. Littered around the mirrors are makeup containers and notes further dissecting what it means to be alive, and creating the self.