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The Enchanted Castle
'Smoke' mirror

'Smoke' mirror

Maarten Baas

(born Netherlands, 1978)

19th-century French mirror, charred
V&A: W.40-2008


This mirror disturbingly evokes the middle-class parlours of 18th-century prints and novels, where the disrepair of the furnishings symbolises the inner ruin of the characters. A chasm between comfort and discomfort exists in the stark contrast between the polite form and its post-apocalyptic appearance. Ironically, it is the poverty of the charred wood that lends the mirror value and charisma.