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Yes its part of a larger lyrics by one of Madonna’s Song but this was what first came into my mind when I first got in touch with Swiss artist Romain Crelier’s La Mise en Abîme. Installed on the floor of the Bellelay Abbey Church in Switzerland back in 2013, this mesmerising installation consists of two shallow pools of recycled motor oil that work like mirrors, reflecting the architectural details of the surrounding interior.

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The harsh juxtaposition of the jet-black oil and the ornate 12th-Century church interior didn’t necessary put me off. Instead it revealed to me another portal, parallel to ours in monochrome. It was severe, silent, mysterious and powerful. Both very strong entities, one being a lifeless, underwhelming motor oil and another scared, light interior coming together in this compelling installation that offers a moment of new reading space and quality.

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Working in a scale simultaneously monumental and intimate, these sculptures continue Crelier‘s career-long exploration of the space through conceptual engagement with buildings as well as his experimentation with light and dark, form and void, inside and outside, surface and depth, abstraction and figuration, reflection and absorption.

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