Alluding to a (quasi-) ethnological collection, Michael Hirschbichler’s work cycle “Masks and Mirrors” shown at Galerie Karin Sachs in Munich unfolds a system of artistic symbols that leads us into seemingly foreign and bewildering realms of reality. A narcissus is mirrored by a distorted grimace forming on the surface of a dark pond. Frogs gather in front of an isolated outpost’s door in the jungle of Papua New Guinea. On a closer look, ornamental wallpapers recalling 19th century Victorian aesthetics turn out to be collages of ethnographic photographs. A silvery leaden island with the outline of Lampedusa is juxtaposed by abstract flags that appear like placeholders for nations still to be identified. And cow-heads, stylized in a way to resemble idols, keep on reappearing in different media. It is the metaphors of the mask and the mirror that seem to emerge as focus points within this spectrum of topics and media: the mask as a shell that hides one reality in order to present another; and the mirror as an instrument that may reveal surprising insights, if used correctly, but which might in turn capture a viewer’s gaze and keep it fixed upon oneself.