Chapter 6: The Eye in the Mask

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Chapter 6: The Eye in the Mask

 

The exhibition The Eye in the Mask juxtaposes a range of ethnographic masks with works of art by the two Danish CoBrA artists Carl-Henning Pedersen and Asger Jorn, African CoBrA artist Ernest Mancoba and several international contemporary artists: Romuald Hazoumé (Benin), Shen Yuan (China), Charles Fréger (France) and Antony Gormley (Great Britain). The Eye in the Mask spans 2000 m2, taking up the entire museum and spilling out into its environs.

The main focus of the exhibition falls on masks and identity. This encompasses physical masks, as shown by means of ethnographic objects used for rituals and dances, making the function of masks very tangible: putting a mask on allows you to become someone else. But it also concerns the use of various mask motifs in art – many artists of the past and present have been inspired by the identity-changing potential of the mask: covering your face allows you to escape the human condition, replace your physical vessel with another, clothing yourself in the guise of a divine or animal being. The mask confers strength, power and abilities far beyond those of ordinary mortals. Hence, the mask is a tool that lets you change your identity.

Socle du Monde Biennale 2017 is supported by: