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"My 40 years and 40 days" project by Mikhail Porollo

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     In the traditions of Eastern Orthodox believers, the fortieth day after a person’s death is of great importance.  This day ends the forty-day period of mourning. On this day, relatives gather in the house of the deceased to hold memorial services, rituals and ceremonies.  It is believed that for 40 days, the soul of the departed wanders around the Earth, visiting the places where they lived and visited, stopping by at acquaintances they knew during their lifetime and finally coming to the place of their future grave.  After that, the soul completes its journey through the ordeal and finally leaves this world.

    During this 40-day period, all the mirrors in the house of the deceased are kept covered. According to the belief, a mirror plays the role of the door between the two worlds. If the soul of the deceased falls into the mirror it will get stuck there forever, without any chance of release. Mirrors in the house of the deceased are also associated with the fate of the living people. So, if a person sees a reflection of the deceased in the mirror, or their own soul, it could be a sign that they might soon die as well.

           © 2020 Mikhail Porollo


       Triptych - three-leaved mirror (miroir à trois faces) - covered by two linen sheets, with a small icon of the Mother Mary and child inserted between the central mirror and its frame. 

       The viewer is invited to open the sheets and look in the mirror.

       The installation is required to be hang in the corner of the exhibition space.


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