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Arnolfini Wedding

Hologram Triptych


When Jan van Eyck painted the Arnolfini portrait around 1434, his technique was admired for being the most realistic and advanced. This seemed to have parallels with some of the claims being made for holography.  So I used this idea to explore realism and recording using holography.  The Master hologram (the holographic equivalent to a photographic negative) is a self portrait of me holding a convex mirror to a still life of objects which are all associated with time, recording or record. So we see a daguerreotype, pressed flowers from the banks of the Nile in 1924, a contact print, a dead butterfly, a bottle of ink, a stolen tile from an Egyptian pyramid ,a tape recorder,  a newly bought Guardian newspaper, a broken clock and a just-lit cigarette. The exposure time of the pulse laser flash is about 500 nanoseconds - the time it takes for light to travel about 5 metres.

Three holograms are "transferred"(~printed) from the same "Master" hologram. Though they are "Image-planed"/ focussed at different depths.

The first hologram is focussed in front of the mirror, so we are amongst the objects outside in the "real" world.

The second hologram is focussed where the mirror is; so the real objects are floating out around us and we see the mirror image behind.

The third hologram is image planed/focussed behind or inside the mirror image - we are inside the reflection in a virtual world!

And in this last hologram we can see a further reflection in the distance of my head, unclear in the background. This is the reflection of my face being reflected in the glass plate of the original Master hologram that is recording the scene.