Disappearance: Echo and Narcissus


"I look up and see a woman's face looking back at me. For a moment I don't recognize myself in the mirror. I watched her watching me. 

video comes back up, camera pans up to look at window across from us. I'm in the window watching camera, camera fades to no one in window. I disappear."

–"The Telephone Call", Janet Cardiff, 2001

Ovid's "Echo and Narcissus" is one of my favorite myths because it's such a perverse narrative about loss and disappearance. It has all the themes I'm interested in: the mirror phase, disembodiment, the moment of self awareness, acoustic duplicates and doppelgangers, the gaze and the source of desire, the voice leaving the body, alienation of the body, perverse intimacy, etc. 

Wishing everybody an existential halloween.