Nicolas Baier
Eternity, 2014
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 - 05.02.15

Eternity is a sculpture with a commanding presence, an undulating curtain of mirror-finish stainless steel rising ten feet from the floor, fully twenty-five feet long and over six feet wide. Composed of many seamlessly stacked strata, the exterior avoids such imperfections as connecting screws or visible joints between sections.

This mirrored wall – permanent, unassailable – hides a message in plain sight; the word Eternity spelled out in classic cursive. Yet since the piece cannot be seen from above, knowledge or even recognition of “eternity” is adamantly denied. In the reflective but impenetrable surface of Eternity, Baier aims to give form to the boundless mystery of the world, and to the vanity of mankind’s desire to grasp the future.

Mirrors have figured in numerous earlier works by Baier, including a full-scale model of his office workstation (Bureau, 2012), mirrored with nickel plate and sealed in a glass cubicle. In Vanitas, 2007−2008, composite scans of old mirrors with eroded silver backing similarly reflect on the inexorable passing of time. Moving from layered photography to hyper-close composite scans, Baier finds in the mirror an exceptional tool for transformation and implication: a representation of perception itself.