Doug and Mike, Mike and Doug

1984, 18 MINS

Doug and Mike, Mike and Doug | A fascinating portrait, filmed before the moment when the precocious, 22-year-old Starn twins would conquer the New York art world with their idiosyncratic, scotch-taped, cutup photographs. The identical-image Rimbauds overlap each other speaking on the soundtrack, reflecting on the outs and mostly ins of looking alike, acting alike, being roommates and best pals, and making art together. The filmmaker shoots the Starns in the same frame, in Persona-like dissolves, as Citizen Kane-like walking reflections in a mirror, as flashing split screen images. She pans up and down a couch from Doug to Mike to Doug. Or is it from Mike to Doug to Mike? The Starns face that bafflement often: “Which of us is which?”

This 18 minute video piece was originally viewed as an installation at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston: two monitors side by side in a small room, Doug’s voice on one channel, Mike’s on the other. The room was reached by entering an L shaped hallway of fun house mirrors that doubled and tripled and quadrupled the reflections of the viewers. A surveillance camera filmed and played back each face as they entered, so each person had the odd experience of confronting their own image multiplied before entering into the intimate double world of Mike and Doug.

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