THE MANY FACES OF FACE MASKS
Concept , Text and Model: Chiara Pussetti
DP: Vitor Barros
We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.
The human face is, after all, nothing more nor less than a mask.
What is real? How do you define real?
Morpheus (The Matrix)
Social masks are a wound and a burden, a force and a weapon. Appearances and social masks allow us to survive in society: we are to be both simple and complex; we can reveal a part of what we are or impersonate someone richer, more attractive, more serious, more eccentric or more conventional.
Our society accepts and promotes those who play a role, who invent a persona. Self-making and self-promotion have never been stronger and desired than nowadays. Ideas of conformity or fit in the right mould, style or body shapes are very present.
Everyone dreams of appearing at its best: excellent, stronger, leaner, younger, more fashionable, more beautiful and powerful. We are constantly enacting a renovation of ourselves in a process of ‘ameliorating’ or ‘bettering’.
The engineered 21st-century body turns into a site for the expression of personal aspirations, which are closely entangled with negotiations over gender, class, age, ethnicity, competitiveness, social inclusion and mobility.
Does it exist a front stage and back stage self? Taking off our social masks does it mean losing our face, failing our self-making or persona-making project?
Are there a ‘real’ offline and an 'improved' online self in the Internet world?
How many different personas do we create during a day? Is the social mask a kind of ‘self presentation’, that provides us with a new enhanced identity? Are there a real and a false identity or are we all 'identity tourists'?
Do you think you are authentic?
Do you want to become what you pretend to be?
Which mask do you wear today?
What do we do to be who we are?