The False Mirror


A springboard for the careers of generations of British household names since it opened in the 1960s, the BBC Television Centre in London has been a catalyst for creativity: from writers, producers and designers, to filmmakers, performers and musicians. To celebrate this heritage and the BBC's Centenary in 2022, I took over the 9th floor of the BBC East Tower building, to create a video piece that plays homage to the heritage of the BBC and the building itself as well as marks a moment of transition, as the Tower was demolished and the site of the BBC Television Centre in West-London being developed.

Klenz built a circular installation of mirror-shard fragments that was positioned on the 9th floor of the BBC East Tower: the mirror pieces were arranged in a circular formation creating a kaleidoscopic effect to take place - reflections and refractions were filmed and everything within the mirrors’ side was bounced back to the camera itself. The differently shaped and sized mirror shards captured the specific venue of the East Tower as well as captured the city of London visible through the windows of the space. While the video captures the interior of the space and the city, it also makes the camera, lights and the video crew a symbiotic part of the piece. Exposing the normally hidden components of lights, cameras, filming and technical crew, Klenz' video piece expresses the role of the camera and the production set by making it perform itself.

The False Mirror merges the two sides of the seen and unseen into one video, operating on a kind of threshold between collage and photography: splicing, joining, cutting through, inverting and reverting, framing and slicing separate filmic image sequences together to create hybrid spatial formations that dissociate the viewer from the familiar. This idea is reflected also in the soundscape of the piece. The soundtrack is created by using ambient noise recorded at the time the video piece was filmed and theme tunes of BBC productions made in the BBC Tower such as Prank Patrol, The Secret Show or Roy.

The False Mirror positions the viewer in a strange in-between zone of space, camera and eye, presenting the BBC Television centre as a space invested in its experiential perception of past and present. Klenz' video piece enables its viewer to simultaneously be before, within and even behind the space that he/she is viewing, creating a world in which the viewer is able to see inside his/her own viewing.