Canio's Mirror

Bora Akinciturk, Caley Feeney and Isabella Rodriguez.

From April 1st to April 16th, 2017

Prologue: Two of Two

Please? Will you allow me? My friends who are the crowd, excuse me if I appear thus alone, I am the Prologue.

Since once again the author has revived, on our stage, the masks of ancient comedy, I wish to restore to you the old stage customs. But not, as in the past, to reassure you, saying, "The tears that we shed are not real...they're feigned. For we are acting. And their suffering need not move our hearts-it is but make believe!" No. The author has sought to paint for you a scene from life. That the artist is human is the author's basis and so they write for the soul. So you will see love,as real as human beings' love: you will see the sad fruit of hate. You will hear agonies of grief,cries of rage and bitter laughter! So think then, not of our poor costumes, but of our souls. For we are of flesh and blood and, just like you, bewildered and helpless, we go through this lonely world in darkness.

This the author intended. Now hear how it is unfolded.
(calling towards the stage)
Come, the curtain is rising, let's begin!

-- as spoken by the character of Tonio in Ruggiero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.

Under the canvas of the dressing tent, within an opera, before a play, before an audience two times over, that is those who act as an audience for us, and we, the furthest audience, watching over all, the weeping Canio holds a mirror and the face of Pagliacci looks back. As Canio paints onto his face the mask of the tragic clown the two characters, Canio and Pagliacci, become one.

Canio having just realized that his beloved wife has given her heart to another steadies himself in order to play the role of Pagliacci who will soon realize that his life shares the same fate. It is here, within the mirror, that the two actors sing "vesti la giubba" (on with your costume) and the first of two acts comes to an end. The curtain falls, slowly, and does not rise again until the beginning of the Commedie , the world of Pagliacci. Between the beginning of Act Two and the beginning of the Commedie nearly every character appears on stage, or is to be heard offstage, and the audience is ushered into their seats. Money is collected and the crowd urges for the performance, the tragedy, to begin. For the curtain to be drawn back so they, and we, can see what it is thar's behind. Although, for us, some curtain has already been raised.

Vesti la giubba, at the end of act one, is the muddling point of the opera. It is here that the two performances onstage begin to weigh against one another and attempt to break from their duplicity, not into clarity, but rather into the place of the prologue. The prologue, where an actor in full costume remarks to the crowd that what they are about to see is in fact real and not just the works of theater, actors, and make believe. That on this stage, set before the audience, real life will unfold along with all of its misgivings, pain and pleasure, love and grief. But, to what audience is the prologue addressed and to what degree has life been performed?

To perform! When my head's whirling with anguish. Not knowing what I'm saying or what I'm doing! And yet...I must...force yourself! You're a clown! On with your costume, and your face painted brightly. Your public pays you, and they must be amused. Though betrayed, laugh clown, be merry...they will applaud! You must transform your despair into laughter. Laugh and amuse them, though your love betrayed you! Laugh, through the torment that embitters your heart!


The comedy is finished!

--Matthew Layng



Bora Akinciturk is a Turkish/British artist, now living and working in London, UK. Bora received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Yeditepe University in Istanbul in 2007 and did postgraduate studies at Middlesex University in London. Previous solo exhibitions include Say Yes, at The beatiful Erah, Salzburg, Austria (2016), FOR3VER, at Open Space, London, UK (2015), and Politely Declined, at Pilevneli Project, Istanbul, Turkey (2012).


Caley Feeney is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Anchorage, AK, she spent ten years in Portland, OR before recently moving to LA. She's shown works in Philadelphia, Toronto, and most recently in a two-person show at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, OR. Her work has been featured in Centre for Style's Heroes book as well as the latest issue of Novembre Magazine.


Isabella Rodriguez is an artist from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She is currently living in Montreal, Canada where she is completing her BFA at Concordia University. This will be Isabella's first exhibition in the United States.

Bora Akinciturk, God's Design, digital print on aluminum

Bora Akinciturk, One Last Trip to Flavortown, digital print on aluminum

Caley Feeney, Sir Psycho Flexi, Various Fabric, Vintage corduroy shirt, polyfil stu ng, acrylic yarn, pipe cleaner, plastic button, Lace angel ornament, wooden strawberry pin, sharpie, small metal ring

Isabella Rodriguez, Jugghouse, color pencil and glitter on cut paper

Isabella Rodriguez, Revolutionary Girl Utena, color pencil on cut paper

Isabella Rodriguez, Hollywood, color pencil on cut paper

Isabella Rodriguez,Gossip, color pencil on cut paper

Isabella Rodriguez, Blood, color pencil and glitter on cut paper

Isabella Rodriguez, Soap, color pencil and glitter on paper

Caley Feeney,Poo Poo Butterfly No. 1, mango seed casing and nail polish

Caley Feeney, Poo Poo Butterfly No. 2, mango seed casing and nail polish

Caley Feeney, Poo Poo Butterfly No.3, mango seed casing and nail polish

Isabella Rodriguez, Seashell, color pencil on cut paper

Caley Feeney, All the safety and comfort of home--On e Go, Personal alarm, Large safety pin, grommet, Clear and gingham vinyl, various personal ephemera

Caley Feeney, Animated Charm Doll, human hair, thick cotton string, felt, gingham heart trim, mini acrylic rhinestones, sharpie, garden wire

Caley Feeney, My Friend (Obscured), photo with stamped cutaway design, sticker