19-009.A-E 'We Dazzle'
wood, rabbit skin glue, marble dust, acrylic paint
The individuality and of the face is what allows for recognition and the recollection of identity and coupled knowledge of the person. However, the external self is not the comprehensive truth of what we encompass. The face is a corporeal representation of our identities, histories, and interests; a mask we wear as an identifier to ourselves, and to those around us.
As technology has advanced, the face has become a digitally coded map of millions of planes that compose a complex geometric topography of our identity. Biometric data is both discreetly stolen, and freely handed over for security purposes. Reducing the individual's multiple unique identities down to only one identifying form.
Using a 3D scanner I have copied the identities of several individuals and replicated them using a computer, numerical controlled ‘CNC’ router to carve their forms out of wood. Through a meticulous process of hand finishing and ornamenting these masks, I hope to honor the form as a celebration of the individual.
The black and white pattern is reminiscent of dazzle camouflage, a style of maritime ornamentation from WWI used to obscure the directional movement of large ships to help protect them from submarine-launched ballistic missiles. This paradoxical term speaks to hiding in plain sight and the term ‘dazzle’ is now in common association with queer people as a term of displaying one’s true self. The juxtaposition of the dazzle as camouflage speaks to the history of silence and culture of hiding one’s true identity that myself and much of queer culture has had to play towards.