Skip to main content


Born of an encounter between poet Dominique Sampiero and visual artist Quentin Carnaille,  Otherness is part of the “artist’s book” and “book-object” collection started by Sampiero in 1990.

This piece takes the form of a one-way mirror behind which several backlit poems appear simultaneously. The poems, six in total, evoke the complexity of our relationship to ourselves as well as our relationship to the other. Thus, three of the poems deal with the “I” while the other three deal with the “We”.

The viewer has ten seconds, the time it takes to get close enough to the mirror to read the poems one by one, before they disappear. Once the poems have all vanished the viewer is faced with their own reflection for five seconds before the texts appear again. While this game of mirrors recalls the myth of Narcissus, it also conceals another purpose : that of placing the viewer in a state of floating between their own image and the images of Sampiero’s poems, in this way doubling the effect of back-and-forth, from the specific to the general, then from the general to the specific.

Furthermore, the very shape of the poems, (spaced out words with neither capital letters nor punctuation) as well as the materials used in the piece, add to this feeling of floating: it is as though the words were suspended within the space of the mirror, as though from this finite area of the square they were reaching towards infinity.

11 x 70 x 70 cm
Mirropane, wood, LED lights, Troglass