Geir M. Brungot - Reflexion de Paris

Do you recall the first time you saw yourself in the mirror? For a moment you were only hands, arms, legs and feet, hunger and itching. The next moment, you were standing in front of a human, a stranger? So, this is I, but who is this I? “The birth of the subject occurs there in the meeting with the mirror”, says the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. The mirroring must of course be understood in more than one sense: light-molecules hitting a shiny surface, reflected
back, sending to the viewer’s eyes, as well as to the surroundings, the social reflections that shape and structure our selfportrait and neuroses. It is this duality Geir M. Brungot plays on in the photo series ”Reflexion de Paris”, the French National Library’s architecture being the frame for the photography. The building’s stainless steel surface reflects the surroundings, the blue sky and clouds, cloud patterns, neighbouring buildings and people passing by. Architectonic masterpieces, of the national library’s calibre are usually a symbol of power. President Francois Mitterand initiated the project in 1988, a cultural manifestation of the greatness and intellectual capacity of the French republic. Yet in spite of this, the reflections are unsharp and foggy, lines and contours dissolving. The world reflected in the building is veiled and undefined. Only some of the pictures, a variety of portraits, are different. Clear, razor-sharp, the individuals look directly into the camera’s lens. The portraits are remarkable in their absence of staging, placed in front of the camera in their ordinary casual clothes; nobody pretends or plays a role. Geir M. Brungot toys with the relationship between the object and the viewer, the strict structure, which defines us, and the unclear, which confuses us. Behind the camera’s lens he deliberately loses control and accumulates double meanings, open for interpretation and diversity. That is why his photography continues to fascinate me.

Gerd Rathje