September 15, 2019

Shadow of Clear Glass: Wyn Geleynse and Inigo Manglano-Ovalle

ESPACE Magazine
Fall 2019
Taisuke Edamura
pp. 14-19


The vexing transparency of architectural glass underlies An Imaginary Situation with Truthful Behaviour (1988) by Canadian artist Wyn Geleynse, a sculptural projection that centres on the nightmare of a glass-enclosed life exposed to unlimited voyeurism. It consists of a sequence of plain glass houses, in one of which the image of a naked man is project on a small glass screen. Kneeling against the wall, he never stops scratching it until breaking a hole through which to enter the next house; with a trail of tiny glass debris marking his passage, the man continues this process until he reaches the last glass wall, which cannot be broken down. The work was originally on view at the On Track exhibition at the 1988 Olympic Arts Festival in Calgary, when he looked to be in middle age. When the work was reprised in the artist’s exhibition at the Galerie Anton Weller in Paris, the naked man had aged in the past eighteen years, showing great contrast and paradoxically attesting to the enduring threat of the unchanged glass houses still imprisoning him.

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Image Credit:

Wyn Geleynse, An Imaginary Situation with Truthful Behaviour (1988), detail