LoosenArt Mag / Gallery

The Mask

Posted on March 21 2018

 

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Author Silvia Colombo
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One of the most immediate creative forms going through history and centuries, from the ancient times until today, is the mask. Connected to a tribal production as well as to a post-modern era, it can be shaped within a multitude of materials, from wood to stone, from plastic to iron, from paper to textiles. This variety can be also associated to its multiple meanings and purposes. A mask can be used to hide and, at the same time, to show something; to change the reality while revealing a profound truth; to filter what is in front of us, whilst directly approaching it.
Magritte (The Lovers, 1928), Picasso with the series of clowns and Ensor (Christ’s entry into Brussels, 1889) are just some of the most well-known artists using masks to define their characters, showing their ‘black-&-white’ nuances to the public.
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This theme, with its interesting complexity, is exhibited at the space Millepiani during the whole month of March (1-31 March 2018). The artists, called to reflect on The Mask, responded in very different ways except for one general ‘trend’: the human presence (or absence, depending on the point of view).
Those two elements have a close, inseparable relationship. Sometimes the mask is on a man’s face, some others doesn’t, waiting for him to arrive or expecting him to go away, far away, (un)definitely. In any case, there is a common thread between each other.
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Erika Zanelli, I'm a Piece of Meat, 2017
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Marzia Gamba, The Youth, 2017
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Tabea Simple, Play together, 2017
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After such a starting point, the exhibition moves forward, showing us how many possibilities this topic could potentially imply. Generally, one useful key to interpret and understand every image is ‘dualism’: being a filter between the reality and us, a mask embodies one meaning and the opposite.
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Some of the artists intend to underline the most innocent aspects characterising us: their/our childhood, immediately connected to an explosive flood of remembrance, to a box full of wonderful and terrible secrets we accurately hide from the rest of the world. Others, more interested in adulthood, highlight the eternal dissonance between hiding and showing (who am I? What am I doing?), transforming and staying the same, supported by techniques such as camouflage and digital retouching.
Finally, there are those who categorically want to forget a fragile wound of their past storytelling us iconographic episodes, still life potentially in motion.
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 Lee Marie-Sadek, I Kiss Holes for the Bullets - A Map of Self Depression, 2017
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Katarzyna Dlugosz, Self -Portrait, 2008
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Mirka Farabegoli, Wasteland 01, 2017
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Heather Joy Layton, When I Grow Up #1, 2017
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Ekaterina Zhingel, Untitled No. 2 - Colored, 2017
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Kasia Tons, Traveler, 2017
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