With or without You

A burning candle is reflected on a round two-way mirror of it, layered with reflections of the visitors and the surrounding space.

A recurring motif in the history of art and a popular vanitas symbol particularly in the baroque period, the candle is used to stage light and dark, representing faith, life and the individual soul as well as the ephemeral qualities of time.

Due to the entirely black surrounding, the flame is the focus of attention. Combined with the two-way mirror, flame and viewer merge into each other, so that the flame appears as a third eye on the viewer’s forehead. Also known as the inner eye, it refers to the spiritual belief in an invisible eye that enables one to perceive the world beyond ordinary sight and symbolizes a certain state of enlightenment.

Only at second glance is it apparent that the candle in front of the mirror is not burning at all, but that the candlelight is flickering behind the mirror.


Year: 2021

Material: Powder-coated aluminium, two-way mirror, candle, paraffin oil

Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 13,5 cm

Exhibitions: Your Light is the Light in Me, Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, DK, 2021