press release

Mask: Object that represents the face of a human, an animal or a purely imaginary creature, which can be used to cover the face so as not to be recognised, to take on the likeness of another being or to practise certain theatrical activities or rituals. Peculiar or extravagant attire to disguise oneself. (Diccionario RAE - Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language)

Masquerade: Festivity involving masked participants. Sham, skulduggery, plot or intrigue of pretence or trickery. (Diccionario RAE - Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language)

Masks have existed throughout the history of mankind, in particular in art. In ancient times they were linked to animist beliefs, antidotes that in some way combated against a world outside full of demons and malevolent spirits; a form of protection against evil. But it was the Greeks that developed its use in theatre and narrative fiction as symbols of human behaviour, generally two-faced and Manichean: laughter/tears, good/bad, comedy/tragedy…

From then on the mask can be seen as concealment and exhibition, a way of hiding oneself on the one hand while showing oneself off at the same time. As such, masks emphasise the interchangeability of identities, not just working as roles, but also as a way of designing strategies for transformation, camouflage and metamorphosis as a way of confronting the world.

When the mask enters the world of theatre, games and narrative fiction, the masquerade is born. The creation of a fictional character through the mask, surgery or disguise, that perseveres in its new identity, allows for acts of resistance. But at the same time, the masquerade is a “game of masks” perceived by others which somehow betrays the anguish of those who wear it…

In this sense, the mask may serve as a way of destabilising differences of race, gender, age or social position within a universal logic that has previously distributed the locations and extremes of behaviour, and as such, often offers a way to reconcile alternative politics and outward appearance.

With the mask, disguise and transvestism, the artist can express his will to crush any notion of “interiorness”, substituting it for a system of codified acts and images within a scene or composition. This theatricality introduces the game and relieves the sense of “tragedy” and “sarcasm” inherent in almost all masks.

The large-scale exhibition “MASQUERADE” brings together more than twenty international artists working in video and photography under the common theme of disguise, wide, polyhedron, complex, exhibitionist , transvestite; at times provocateur, at other times occultist, ironic, sarcastic, insinuating, grotesque, abject…

Is the mask what we use to “act” or is it what we use in our daily lives?



mit Irene Andessner, Marcel-li Antunez, Vasco Araujo, Matthew Barney, Mira Bernabeu, Leigh Bowery, Olaf Breuning, Claude Cahun, Janieta Eyre, Larry Fink, Alberto Garcia Dominguez, Gilbert Garcin, Fergus Greer, Alison Jackson, Piedad Isla, Frida Kahlo, Steven Klein, Ly Wei, Rita Magalhaes, R. Eugene Meatyard, Marcial Mora, Isabel Munoz, Michael Najjar, Nick Night, Erwin Olaf, Orlan , Ulrike Ottinger, Felipe Pinuela, Miguel Angel Santos, Cindy Sherman, Sam Taylor-Wood, Yinka Shonibare, Mary Sue, Larry Sultan, Sam Taylor-Wood, Charlie White, Pavel Wolberg, Yeondoo Jung ...