THE MASK, 4 December - 9 January 2010

CRISTIAN ANDERSEN, SØREN ASSENHOLT, CLAUDE CAHUN, BEN COTTRELL, CHRISTINA HAMRE, ANDREAS HOFER, DANIEL JENSEN, IDA KVETNY, SONJA FERLOV MANCOBA, ROLF NOWOTNY

 

”Beneath this mask another mask. I will never be done lifting off all of these visages.” (Claude Cahun. Aveux non Avenus. Paris: Èditions du Carrefour, 1930).

 

The mask can be many things. At once shallow and deep. It is a surface the face can be hidden behind. It disguises but also gives identity. Whether that identity is an existing identity or a new. The mask is an artificial face behind which one can hide, behave differently and get a new view on the world as well as oneself. But the mask can also make us see behind the surface. In the traditional perception of the mask it is an outer manifestation of the inner. With no distinction between internal and external.

 

The exhibition consists of works that in each their way relate to the concept of the mask. Cristian Andersen shows a photograph of a gypsum cast of his own face reminiscent of a death mask while Rolf Nowotny’s large lump of clay is mirrored respectedly in a collection of masks and the physical space it now has become part of. Sonja Ferlov Mancoba’s African inspired masks depicts indefinable states of passage where the borders between animal and human being, man and woman, nature and culture are blurred. In Søren Assenholt’s work it is not the mask itself but rather an action that is being moved from Afrika to a contemporary, Western context.

 

Ida Kvetny’s work takes its starting point in impressions, shells and fossils from most northern hemisphere, while Daniel Jensen presents a tableaux with mask figures, mantelpiece and a drawing, which at a distance seems homely but really isn’t at all. In Ben Cottrell’s piece we are confronted with a multiplied, shattered identity in a meeting between heaven and earth, spirit and dirt. And in Christina Hamre’s stoneware detached bodyparts tell stories of mask clad people while Andreas Hofer assumes the identity Andy Hope and takes us back in time to a fictional futuristic world populated by masked superheroes.

Claude Cahun, Self portait, c. 1928. 11,4 x 8,5 cm. Silver gelatine.