Performer / Audience / Mirror, 1975

As a reaction to the visual paradigm related to the new consumer culture of the 1960s, Conceptual artists expanded sculpture by exploring genres such as performance and filmic language. With a very eclectic approach, Dan Graham was one of the first to explore this new artistic field. His early films, made between 1969 and 1974 and of which the MACBA Collection has a significant representation, show his interest in exploring the mechanisms of perception, corporeality, consciousness and space. Graham does not document performances; his films are extensions of those performances. He does not simply ‘film’ something, but experiments with perception to see what happens when body and camera become a single machine for seeing and feeling.

Whereas in Binocular Zoom (1969), two cameras operate simultaneously emulating the functioning of the human eye; in Sunset to Sunrise (1969) the camera systematically explores the celestial vault of the sky, sweeping in a spiral, from the horizon to the zenith and vice versa, until all notion of space disappears. In some works, such as Roll (1970) or Helix/Spiral (1973), Graham records the same action with two cameras operating as shot reverse shot, or as if one were watching from ‘outside’ and the other from ‘within’. Also from that time, Past/Future Split Attention (1972) focuses on the notion of time in the perception of oneself and others by placing two people in the same space or present: while the first person predicts the future behaviour of the second, the second explains the past of the first. Later, in 1975, and influenced by psychoanalytic readings, in addition to his interest in perception and space, Graham begins to interact with the public in such iconic works as Performer/Audience/Mirror (1975).

Technical details

Original title:
Performer / Audience / Mirror
Registration number:
Graham, Dan
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, b&w, sound, 22 min 52 s
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
© Performer / Audience / Mirror by Dan Graham. All rights reserved.
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

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Dan Graham "Performer/Audience/Mirror", 1975
Dan Graham "Performer/Audience/Mirror", 1975
Dan Graham "Performer/Audience/Mirror", 1975
Dan Graham "Performer/Audience/Mirror", 1975