FACELESS is an exhibition exploring a phenomenon present all around us: the fashion of facelessness that first appeared in the creative arts at the beginning of this century and has remained popular since then. The exhibition reminds us of the impact that media-generated images can have on the creative arts and the ways in which they respond to public images, pop culture, and the mainstream in general. The first part of the exhibition showed the appeal that hiding, veiling, or masking the face exerted on art and fashion after 9/11.
FACELESS continues the survey in a more participatory approach. The focus is on interdisciplinary works and lectures, performances, and workshops that convey how we can survive without losing face and at the same time revolt.
In addition to some one hundred works by internationally renowned as well as young, up-and-coming artists, including Marina Abramović, Jill Magid, Jeremy Bailey, Bernd Oppl, Andrew Norman Wilson, Thorsten Brinkmann, Asger Carlsen, Shahram Entekhabi, David Haines, Ren Hang, Ute Klein, Nienke Klunder, Slava Mogutin, Mustafa Sabbagh, Jan Stradtmann, and Levi van Veluw, FACELESS features masks by designers such as Maiko Takeda, Maison Martin Margiela, Jun Takahashi for UNDERCOVER, Katsuya Kamo for Junya Watanabe’s COMME des GARÇONS and many more. The exhibition successfully merges art and fashion in the context of a subject that is of collective urgency and importance.
For artist/curator Bogomir Doringer, FACELESS was chiefly inspired by the sociopolitical consequences of 9/11. As the value of facial identifiability has risen, abstracted forms and representations of faces have become increasingly common in artistic production. Bogomir Doringer, for one, has been exploring the theme of facelessness in fashion and art for years. “Our unstable identity yearns for a return to the mask,” he says. “Like in times past, we are attracted to wearing masks as a form of protection or camouflage, as a prop, or just for entertainment.”
“As much as a face and an expression can give away about us,” says co-curator Brigitte Felderer of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, “we have plenty of creative potentials at our disposal for making these tale-telling surfaces illegible, even invisible, without running the risk of suffering social death.”
FACELESS in Brussels until February 8th 2015
Artists: Marina Abramović, Martin Backes, Jeremy Bailey, Jonathan Barnbrook for David Bowie, Aram Bartholl, William Basinski, Marc Bijl, Zach Blas, Heiko Bressnik, Thorsten Brinkmann, Ondrej Brody & Kristofer Paetau, Mark Brown, Asger Carlsen, Cracked Labs, Ben DeHaan, Sofie Groot Dengerink, DENNATON (Jonatan Söderström & Dennis Wedin), Nezaket Ekici, Arthur Elsenaar, Shahram Entekhabi, Caron Geary aka FERAL is KINKY, Hrafnhildur Gissurardóttir, David Haines, Ren Hang, Adam Harvey, Sabi van Hemert, Ursula Hübner, Damier Johnson aka REBEL YUTHS, Katsuya Kamo for Junya Watanabe COMME des GARÇONS, KATSU, Brian Kenny, Ute Klein, Nienke Klunder, Jakob Lena Knebl & Thomas Hörl, Miodrag Krkobabić, Mirko Lazović, Theo-Mass Lexileictous, Vanessa Lodigiani, Zachari Logan, Manu Luksch, Jill Magid, Maison Martin Margiela, Alberto de Michele, Bob Miloshević, Jelena Misković, Slava Mogutin, Andrew Newman, Veljko Onjin, Bernd Oppl, Tanja Ostojić, Marco Pezzotta, Gareth Pugh, Eva-Maria Raab, RAF SIMONS, Ana Rajcevic, Daphne Rosenthal, Tarron Ruiz-Avila, Mustafa Sabbagh, Olivier de Sagazan, Daniel Sannwald for WOODKID, Bryan Lewis Saunders, Frank Schallmaier, Hester Scheurwater, Tim Silver, Jan Stradtmann, Sergei Sviatchenko, Jun Takahashi for UNDERCOVER, Maiko Takeda, Marc Turlan, Levi van Veluw, Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek, Viktor & Rolf, Philippe Vogelenzang & Majid Karrouch, Daniel Vom Keller, Martin C de Waal, Addie Wagenknecht & Stefan Hechenberger, Anne Wenzel, Lucy Wood, Bernhard Willhelm, Andrew Norman Wilson, and Marcus Zobl. Some of the participating artists are living and working in the art studios at the MuseumsQuartier as part of the quartier21/MQ Artist-in-Residence program.