Architettura dello Specchio, 1990

Architecture of the Mirror, 1990
Installation, 360 x 800 cm

On the one hand the canvas, on the other the mirror, me in the middle. One eye looking at the canvas, the other at the mirror. Staring at the two objects intensely they gradually become superimposed. My mirror image transfers itself to the canvas while remaining in the mirror and the canvas transfers itself to the mirror, becoming one and the same thing.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, 1962

Inside the mirror, there I am, there we are. Where, when? We are inside the mirror when we are here and when we are there. I can see myself, or perhaps I can’t see myself, while you can see me in the mirror. But it’s not just us or whoever is in front of it now, he who is distant is also in the mirror. Indeed we are in the mirror even when it’s not in front of us. Nothing escapes the mirror. The great space is in the mirror, time (whole time) is already in the mirror and space has the dimension of time. The mirror is at the bottom of the well and we can see it, but perhaps it is also under the furniture at home, in the trees, or behind our heads where we can’t see it: is it you that looks at me from behind without my even knowing it?

The eyes are mirrors, the mind is the mirror of the eyes and actions are the mirror of the mind.
Now that the mirror has come to light from Art we can see inside history, the bright and sparkling history in the thickness of the mirror and the life that Art reflects in this thickness. The Sumerians that of came out of the mirror have returned with the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Arabs and the Romans inside the mirror, placed on the golden background of the Byzantines, erased by the iconoclasts and redrawn by the perspective of western progress, truncated in the end by consumed consumerism’s mass of dross.
In this mirror the order of Venus crosses the gaze in perfect harmony while the usury of custom dismembers, disintegrates and transforms every image. Conscience perceives the inexorable absolute in existential relativity, the mirror’s perpetual motion that comes without pose to its own surface.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, 1987

Technical details

Original title:
Architettura dello Specchio
Registration number:
Pistoletto, Michelangelo
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan
Object type:
Mirror and golden wood
360 x 800 cm (height x width)
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan. National Collection of Art
© Michelangelo Pistoletto, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

Accessibility resources
Audio description

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.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.



Audio description of the work of Michelangelo Pistoletto "Architettura dello Specchio", 1990