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Taking aim: Highlights from Art Basel

Photo: Dvir Gallery

“One Piece, the Same” by Paris-based artist Mircea Cantor (born 1977 in Romania) is a mirrored Plexiglas puzzle, loosely mapped into the shape of Israel, but without (as the Dvir Gallery of Tel Aviv who represents the work puts it) “committing to specific border agreements or territory manifestations.”

The sculpture lies flat, a shiny puddle, to evoke the myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water — not understanding that it was only an image — and died by wasting away while pining for his own reflection (or by killing himself, as some versions say). When you bend over the tabletop to “play” with puzzle pieces, you can’t help but see your own reflection. Yet instead of an irresistibly beautiful you, an upside-down, distorted, multiplied version of you is immediately implicated in the work and, by extension, in the complexity of the “puzzle” of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

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