Sarah Pucill, Magic Mirror 2013; still image from film
Sarah Pucill, Magic Mirror 2013

Magic Mirror

Sarah Pucill, UK 2013, 16 mm transferred to digital video, 75 min

This screening features the premiere of Sarah Pucill’s new film exploring the work of surrealist Claude Cahun.

Part essay, part film poem, Magic Mirror translates the startling force of Claude Cahun’s ouvre into a choreographed series of tableaux vivants. Re-staging the French Surrealist’s black and white photographs with selected extracts from her book Aveux Non Avenus (Confessions Untold), the film explores the links between Cahun’s photographs and writings.

Cahun’s multi-subjectivity, as expressed in both her photographs and book, set the scene for the film, where she dresses and makes her face up in many different ways, swapping identities between gender, age and the inanimate. Three women masquerade as Cahun’s characters: often it is hard to tell them apart. The splitting of identity appears as a double which persists throughout; as literal double through super imposition, as shadow, imprints in sand, reflections in water, mirror or distorting glass. Likewise, the voice is split between differently dressed voices, which at times overlap, and at times are in conversation. The kaleidoscope aesthetic that runs through the film serves not only to weave between image and word but also between the work of Cahun and the films of Sarah Pucill, creating a dialogue between two artists who share similar iconography and concerns.

The screening will be followed by a discussion between Sarah Pucill and writer, curator and artist David Campany.

Presented in association with LUX