Face Masks

A different outlook onto the world, in this weeks post, through these Facemasks made by Canadian jeweler Arielle de Pinto. In 2007, she made 2 masks, a male and a female one. In her 2009, ‘lookbook’ she included a unisex mask.
Arielle de Pinto looks at facial expressions in fashion magazines for inspiration and with the last one it has resulted in a more aggressive, less symmetrical and prim mask. With its enlarged and simplified eyes, nose and mouth (facial features) the mask reminds me of a wooden African tribal mask. The big difference between the two is that Arielle de Pinto’s Facemasks are very flexible and therefore wearable. So instead of wearing a rigid mask it feels like wearing a veil, as the masks follow the shape of the wearer’s head perfectly. It is the only clue of what the wearer’s face may look like, since it is fully covered by the mask.
Her amazing masks have been crocheted using different colors of metal threads, which give them their features. The male mask (2nd photograph) has a beard and is balding, while the female mask is less distinct, so it could have been unisex as well.
The oversized masks don’t really fit the human head properly, but stay on because of their incredible weight of 2 kilograms. Even though the “eyes” of the mask tend to hang on the side of the wearer’s head, it is still possible to look through it, because of the loosely made metalwork.

The male and female masks are part of the exhibit 'Equilibrium: Body as Site' held in Rubin and L Galleries at the University of Texas Dept. of Art in El Paso, Texas, USA. It focuses on art that engages the body as a site. What is so refreshing about this exhibit is that it will privilege the sensorial over the intellectual. I would sure like to know what it feels like to wear the Facemasks!

Found thanks to Metalcyberspace blog!


Garbage Pin

Yeah, I'm blogging again! This time about the versatile garbage pin. It's a pin with a silver structure that can hold a tiny, transparent plastic bag (the garbage bag). Once full, this bag can be removed, closed with a wire and kept as a memory of the experience. The pin questions the value of the waste and the memories attached to it, as they get combined with a precious metal! Throwing things away can be great relief, a way of cleansing your space. This garbage pin can be a call to reflect what we do with our waste. By wearing your own ‘experiences’ in a clear plastic garbage bag on your body, the piece becomes very personal. It has both an exhibitionistic and a voyeuristic side to it, because it could show what the wearer has been up to.
The contents of the bag go beyond their material properties, and may represent happiness, hope, fears or even secrets and guilt. The contents of the bag do not have to be random waste, but it can consciously be filled with symbols for contaminants of our society like war, pollution and global warming to challenge the voyeur.
Ana Cardim is the wonderful Portuguese designer of this manufactured pin. She mass-produced her pin so that many wearers could 'finish' the piece by filling the garbage bags. The piece is a kit that includes 5 spare plastic bags and wires. It even became a project called the garbage pin project (sponsored with a grant by the Portuguese ministry of culture). 100 artists teamed up to each do their own version of the Garbage Pin, by filling 5 garbage bags accompanied by photographs and a little written synopsis. This means 500 little garbage bags! Hopefully a schedule of the exhibitions will be published soon.