The Shock of the New
British Broadcasting Corporation, 423 pp
Turn The Shock of the New over and on the back cover Robert Hughes stands in a mirrored room, looking out at the spectator, inﬁnitely reﬂected in a light ﬁlled glass box that looks like one of Portman’s new hotels. The choice of photograph is a key to Hughes and the pages within, for in the text, Hughes describes this Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras as:
a small space, but big enough to stand, move, and sit in ... To enter the Room and close the door is to see one-self reﬂected to inﬁnity, fragment by fragment, never whole, but inﬁnitely expanding in de tail; to be multiplied thus... is a strange feat of narcissism. At the same time the mirrors compose something very much larger than the self.