Julia Murillo Solo Show
Curated by Erika Martin
Julia Murillo is a Costa Rican photographer, currently based in Mexico, who has been exploring portraiture as a communicative medium, and the disassociation of the self and the body from a personal and humane viewpoint. Her previous work from 2012, Exiles— a self-referential project that sought to make tangible in the body what only happens in the mind— is the starting point of the works that occupy the show. Since then, Murillo has been consistent on the development of a body of work in which she continues to be the subject of her photographs, and now goes on to explore the interference and acknowledgement of the other.
Her first individual exhibition, Mirror Stage presents Murillo’s first performative act — Surface—, along with a series of 6 photographs. In it Murillo explores and plays with the notion of what is our true capacity to recognize our physical selves, the disassociation between our mental and real perception of our own body and how our physical body is seen by others. The six photographs exposed exemplify a linear evolution of self awareness beginning with Murillo, in front of a mirror, staring at her naked reflection. Hence, the title is positively aligned with Lacan’s psychoanalytic concept, in which he reflects on the great joy experienced by a child as he recognizes himself in the mirror-or upon any reflective surface-for the first time, and goes on to propose that almost simultaneously the child does not recognize the imago (image) he is confronted with for this is a separate image and not his own.
In this body of work the artist is trying to connect and identify with the imago she is confronted with on a daily basis when she sees herself on an external surface —may this be a reflection or a photograph. However, this effort is unresolved, given that the reflection in the mirror is an inverted image of herself, any photographic depiction is also a distortion of the self and she is incapable of seeing herself through anyone else’s eyes. Hence, like the child the imago that is her, does not belong to her.
The title is constituted by two words that define quite precisely the basic elements of Murillo’s exhibition: mirror and stage. The photographs are a “mirror” that she uses to confront her unknown reflection and establishes a dialogue. The performance act occupies a stage—the gallery—, where the artist exposes herself and confronts yet another “mirror”, the Other.
Mirror Stage. 2017. C-Print. 60 x 40 cm. Ed 1/6
Mirror Stage: Booklet Complete series. 2017. C-Print. 12 photos, 8.5×5.5″. Ed 1/6