Mirror reflections have multifarious interpretations: some view the image as objective truth, while others identify its inherent reversal as proof of the mirror’s deception or illusion. Mirrors confine and frame the visible, although they may also exaggerate it infinitely—for example, when two mirrors face each other.
We are so used to viewing our reflection on a daily basis that we often fail to see who or what is staring back. The same is true of the photographic image: despite the complexities of photography, even the most atrocious scenes of conflict and war dissolve in the indiscriminate and ubiquitous depictions encountered in the media.
Sanaz Mazinani’s recent photographic collages physically jar these images out of this mediascape. By presenting chaotic explosions in mirrored, kaleidoscopic arrangements that refuse to lie flat, Mazinani impedes a passive spectatorship; the representation of conflict is both visual and haptic.
Each work in Mirrored Explosions is an intervention in space, challenging the privileged vantage through which the politics of war are mediated. Problematizing both the mirrored reflection and the photographic lens, Mazinani ruptures our modes of observation, forcibly asking: How does an image’s mediation affect moral or political judgments? To what extent are these images real to us? How can the implications of war be more visibly, and tangibly, understood through representation?