This Halloween, Show Face examines the role of the mask in a series of new contemporary visual and multimedia works, ranging from small to large format, from ideas to image and object. The show will feature contemporary muralist Jonathan Cruz, whose work incorporates mask iconography referential to his time spent in the Arctic. The work of Cruz is situated in dialogue with a selection of technically diverse contemporary artists who propose – through varying mediums and approaches – the mask as a ceremonial, protective, performative and expressive tool. Together the works address the mask as a tool of erasure, but also of creation: of anonymity and also of performance.
Through proposing varying understandings of what it means to be masked and also to be unmasked, the work will pose questions about what it means to show your face, and at what cost, in an era of constant digital policing, surveillance, and simultaneous estrangement from and affinity to the mask’s legacy of theatricality, folklore, and magic. Animal hopes and desires interweave with digital paranoia and identity formation; as Tom Robbins writes, a mask activates the state of Incognito.
So INcognito might our more authentic selves emerge?