An exhibition about masks and masked people, at a time when we all live behind them, but "The mask never lies" is not about pandemics, or their ravages. Curated by the writer and cultural activist Servando Rocha and by the head of exhibitions at the CCCB, Jordi Costa, the exhibition is a journey through the political uses of the mask in modernity, and addresses the policies of control over the face. It also shows us the cultural resistance to being identified, the defense of anonymity, the strategies of terror in the act of concealment or the way that the bad guys, the heroes or heroines and the dissidents show the mask as a symbol of identity.
An underground story
The origin of this exhibition is found in the essay Algunas cosas oscuras y peligrosas. El libro de la máscara y los enmascarados (Certain dark and dangerous things: The book of masks and the masked), by Servando Rocha himself, which proposes an underground history of the last century and a half under the sign of a deconsecrated mask, instrument at the service of perverse exercises of power or tool of identity construction in political activism and social struggles. Between the Ku Klux Klan and Pussy Riot, a heterogeneous repertoire of masked faces would spread behind which hides not only an identity, but also the origin of some phenomena that define our present, such as fake news or conspiranoia.
"The mask never lies" is organized into seven areas that function as seven closed stories, but connected by revealing thematic and iconographic recurrences, and combines a wide selection of documentary material and audiovisual resources with objects that allow us to understand both the meanings of the mask ( Pussy Riot balaclava, Mexican wrestler masks, gas masks…) as the contexts in which the concealment of the face has taken on a political aspect (Masonic objects, activist pamphlets, weapons…).
In the exhibition you will find pieces by artists such as Félicien Rops, Lavinia Schulz, Kati Horna, Leonora Carrington, Marcel Janco, David Lloyd and Lourdes Grobet, among others; and works created ad hoc by Nico Roig, Martí Riera y Onliyú, José Lázaro, Fernando González Viñas. Joaquín Santiago, Dostopos, May Pulgarín, Domestic Data Streamers, Las Migras de Abya Yala, Antoni Hervàs, Beatriz Sánchez and Gitano del Futuro.