mimetic desire


We are living in a consumer society in which we are constantly surrounded and flooded by contemporary visual culture that affects our daily life by an overload of images that tell us what something ‘should’ look like.


When something is desired by a large group of people, this feeling becomes adopted. This is called Mimetic desire: we are attracted to something because other people are. As a result, a great number of replica products arise. A visual imitation of the original product is often enough to summon the same emotional value that someone experiences from an original. However, when we learn that the object is a replica, this summons a different feeling.


In the project REFLECT, logos are printed in mirror image on wearable items. These items are offered in a candy machine (just as desirable as candy). With the logos printed in mirror image we can capture and present ourselves to the world as if we are wearing the real brand, using a mirror camera provided by apps like Instagram and Snapchat.


In the project REFLECT I want to question the public and private visual orientation, as well as the emotional value. To which degree are we affected by contemporary visual culture and imitate what we desire? And why do we do this, and for whom?


© 2017 Veerle Kluijfhout