Markus Raetz

Hasenspiegel, 1988
Eisendraht, Spiegel, bemaltes Holz
Sammlung Francesco Conti, Chêne Bougeries

The viewer’s standpoint is decisive to the appearance of things. Markus Raetz‘ works challenge viewers to embark on an intense, investigative way of seeing and to adopt different perspectives.

Hare Mirror represents the contours of a hare; it is made in wire, standing on a cardboard pillar with a grey-painted wooden base, and facing an oval mirror placed opposite. But the mirror image shows the silhouette of a man with a hat, a reference to Joseph Beuys. It is well-known that Beuys regarded the hare as a symbolic animal – in his artistic mythology it stands for both spirit and body, the cosmos and the earth, and as an animal of the moon it can be equated with fertility, rebirth and intuition, and thus with the female, with woman. Here, the fact that the artist and the hare, the man and the animal are related to each other as mirror images means that the mirror is robbed of its purely optical function; it does not merely reproduce the surface of things. The transfer between image and reflection shows that the mirror is used symbolically as an instrument of insight, inasmuch as looking into it discloses facets of one’s inner self, an alter ego in this case.

Markus Raetz (born 1941) lives in Bern.