Mirror Cells

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide features commentary by four of the exhibiting artists and Jane Panetta, associate curator and co-curator of Mirror Cells.

Jane Panetta: My name is Jane Panetta and I’m an Associate Curator here at the Whitney.

Narrator: Panetta and Associate Curator Christopher Y. Lew organized this exhibition. 

Jane Panetta: This exhibition is titled Mirror Cells. It’s a group exhibition of five emerging artists, primarily sculptors. 

We’ve titled the show Mirror Cells, which refers back to mirror neurons, which are neurons that we have, that allow us to feel empathy or to experience the pain of others that we might see or witness. And I think we liked the way that reflected a sensibility we saw in a lot of this sculpture. These are works that kind of reflect things both personal and about the outside world in a kind of sensitive, almost vulnerable way, I would say.

And I think that beyond that, beyond the kind of scientific relationship between mirror cells and mirror neurons, we even liked the way the phrase mirror cells somehow seemed to get the idea of these works being kind of individual microcosms that reflect the world or reflect the artist’s own experiences.

Narrator: A few works are installed near the elevators, and in the café nearby. But most of the exhibition is one open, continuous space. Take a look around. If you’d like to hear more of the thinking behind the show, please tap the button on your screen. 


Installation view of Mirror Cells (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 13—August 21, 2016). Photograph Genevieve Hanson