November 24, 2008 - Santa Clara Museum, Murcia - Anish Kapoor: Islamic Mirror
November 24, 2008

Anish Kapoor: Islamic Mirror

Left: Detail of Islamic Mirror, 2008, by Anish Kapoor
Right: View of the Santa Clara Convent, Murcia

Anish Kapoor
Islamic Mirror

Nov 25th 2008 – Jan 10th 2009

Curator: Rosa Martínez
Sharq al-Andalus Hall at
Santa Clara Convent, Murcia

Opening: November 25th, 12:00 noon

Project organised by Culture and Tourism Department of the Region of Murcia and co-produced by Bancaja

Islamic Mirror (2008) by internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor is the first project in a new annual series of interventions in the public space organised by the Culture and Tourism Department of the Government of the Autonomous Region of Murcia and curated by Rosa Martínez.

The Islamic Mirror installation in the Sharq al-Andalus Hall at the Santa Clara Museum propitiates an extraordinary conjunction of work and context that questions the clichéd identification of public space with street space. After all, the public space also comprises places of historic condensation which, protected and regulated by public institutions, are transformed into cultural heritage for individual and collective use, reflection and enjoyment.

The Santa Clara Convent is an emblematic location in the city of Murcia. Its Islamic foundations coexist with later Christian refurbishments and extensions, as well as with contemporary restorations, which, in 2003, converted its south wing into a museum. At present, the architectural complex combines its use as public space along with the private area for the nuns. The 13th century Islamic remains on view consist of a courtyard with a longitudinal pool and four small garden areas, and the Sharq al-Andalus Hall or the palace courtroom, a rectangular area on whose central wall Kapoor’s Islamic Mirror is located. The search for a logic and balance among planes and perspectives proposes an “epiphanic” point for the contemplation of the piece, in a visual and conceptual play that enhances its significance in relation to the place housing it. In fact, the Islamic Mirror reflects the architectural elements, the spectators and the water of the pool, which acts itself as a mirror that brings the sky down to the earth.

Islamic Mirror is a circular concave mirror measuring 2.4 metres in diameter. It is composed by a total of 4437 pieces of polished stainless steel (2241 octagons and 2196 squares) and its perfect rendering alludes to the formal, mathematical and geometrical transition between the square and the sphere, an age-old intellectual concern for architects, mystics, scientists and artists alike.

The phenomenology that establishes a link between the physical and the spiritual, between past and present, between sky and earth, relates the spectator to the artwork and the place while empowering the transversal connections between Christian mysticism, the Sufi views of the poet Ibn Arabí (Murcia, 1165 – Damascus, 1240) and contemporary aesthetic experimentation. Spectators are invited to partake in a unique experience in which each individual becomes an ephemeral but essential part of the work when seeing their own image both vanishing and multiplying inside it. The echo of their voices emerges also from the concave surface. And so, in a secular, utopian, egalitarian, generative and expansive exercise, the here and now of the world within the mirror and of the mirror within the world is shown, while at once proclaiming that every being can momentarily be the centre of the cosmos.

Anish Kapoor
Born in Mumbai, India, in 1954, since the early 1970s Anish Kapoor has lived in England. Kapoor won the prestigious Turner Prize in 1991 and created a project for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in 2002. He has exhibited at significant international events like Documenta IX in Kassel (1992), and the UK pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1990) and has created fascinating public art projects like the gigantic Cloud Gate (2004) at the Millennium Park in Chicago.

Catalogue: On the occasion of this project, a catalogue edited by Rosa Martinez, published by the Culture and Tourism Department of Murcia has been released.

Sharq al-Andalus Hall, Santa Clara Museum
Paseo Alfonso X, 1
30001 MURCIA
Tf. +34-968272398

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm & 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Sunday & Public Holidays: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

For more information or images please contact:

Serrano 162, 2º D
28002 Madrid

Tel: (+34) 915648856

Santa Clara Museum, Murcia

Santa Clara Museum, Murcia
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