26 January–13 April 2014

Mediamatic, Amsterdam, Netherlands | Website

Faceless, Mediamatic

This exhibition shows the trend to hide, alter or mask the face. A trend visible in art, fashion and the media since the turn of the century. The works on show ranges from avant-garde masks to pieces that force open a dialogue with facial recognition software, surveillance cameras, and drones. Themes include seduction, surveillance and privacy. With 100+ artworks, there will be workshops on anonymity as a form of rebellion, lectures and more.

Since 9/11, fear for the obscured face has lead to more surveillance and the urgency to renegotiate the value of privacy. The hidden face became increasingly prevalent in mainstream pop- and image culture. Artists, fashion designers, and photographers responded to these images and started investigating in their own way what it means to be without a face.

“Our unstable identity yearns for a return to the mask,” says curator Bogomir Doringer. “Like in times past, we are attracted to wearing masks as a form of protection or camouflage, as a prop, or just for entertainment.”