Ivana Franke



Exhibition "Smoking Mirror" in the frame of the group exhibition "MIRROR IMAGES" at Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité

Both exhibitions are curated by Alessandra Pace.

Artists: Otavio Schipper/Sergio Krakowski

Exhibition dates: November 13, 2015 – January 23, 2016

Ernst Schering Foundation
Unter den Linden 32-34 | 10117 Berlin
Daily (except Tuesdays and Sundays) 12–7 p.m.
Free Admission

Kindly supported by the Young Academy of the Berlin Akademie der Künste – Otavio Schipper is Berlin fellow 2015.
The artists would like to acknowledge the support of Harvestworks Laboratory and Cyro Baptista for the recording of the audio material presented in this work.


Developed for the Project Space of the Ernst Schering Foundation, the installation SMOKING MIRROR is the first German solo exhibition of the artist Otavio Schipper (born 1979, lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in cooperation with the composer Sergio Krakowski (born 1979, lives in New York City, USA).

For years, Otavio Schipper has dealt with the topic of proprioception: the perception of one’s own body and the relationship between body and space. For SMOKING MIRROR, Otavio Schipper and Sergio Krakowski were inspired by the English mathematician, astronomer, astrologist and mystic John Dee (1527–1608) and his collection of magic objects and optical devices. The exhibition pre-sents unique reflective objects as well as coordinated light and sound effects to create a space designed to elicit a state of altered consciousness similar to a hypnotic trance. SMOKING MIRROR thus explores the connection between mental activity and the cognitive awareness of one’s own body in space. It features, among other elements, a so-called “black mirror,” modeled on the Aztec (Mexica) obsidian mirror. As a cult object, this mirror played an important role in the history of Mexico: Tezcatlipoca, or “Smoking Mirror,” was the Aztec god of night and matter and held major significance for rulers, warriors and sorcerers.

SMOKING MIRROR is part of the exhibition MIRROR IMAGES in Art and Medicine, curated by Alessandra Pace, which is on view at the Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité. It showcases artistic works as well as scientific experiments and objects that interrogate how we per-ceive our own body in space.


Photos: Otavio Schipper & Sergio Krakowski: SMOKING MIRROR, Exhibition view Ernst Schering Foundation, Photo: Nick Ash, © the artists



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