The Mechanism of Facial Expression / Homage to Duchenne de Bolougne (El Mecanismo de la Expresión / Homenaje a Duchenne de Bolougne), 2005
Panfletero (Pamphleteer), 2003-ongoing
El Libro de los Espejos y el Manual de Instrucciones(The Book of Mirrors & The Users’ Manual), 2002-ongoing
Versión Restaurant / Restaurant Version, 2003-ongoing
What Are We Before We Are Naturalized? A Journal of Non-Linear Activity, 2002-ongoing
“Naturalizations” is a work in progress based on the production and distribution of a set of masks, which are used in specific social situations. The masks are rectangular mirrors with slits in the eye and mouth areas, and elastic suspenders, which enable the users to move around freely while wearing them.
The initial perception created by these masks is one of spatial and psychological confusion. Subjects are reversed if only one person is wearing the mask. If several people wear them and look at each other, their faces disappear and transform into an endless set of reflections of other mirrors, other faces, environments, and objects. Landscape and subject are one and many. Subjects are inseparable from each other, their bodies dismembered by rectangular planes departing and arriving through reflected gazes. Light breaks and travels on these masks with unpredictable speed and variety. Space and movement become counter-intuitive.
The masks force us to adapt to a new physical reality, one which denies what has become “natural.” The substitution of the facial marker of individuality for a sign of constant change and reflection results in the erasure of one kind of subjectivity, only to formulate a new set of social conditions. The hierarchical address of the observer, the photographer, and the interviewer is turned upon itself. The space behind the camera is made visible. A dancing group wearing the masks decides to perform for its own pleasure, or for the reflection of their audience. The daily balance between extroverted and introverted actions becomes a tangible visual rhythm. The mask is the new stage, framed by the theater of the everyday.
The temporary opening of these spatial constructions where viewers and authors are free to switch places, may also reflect on the merit of collective efforts and the fallacy of ontology. The process and title of the series “Naturalizations” also invites to constantly question “the natural” and those institutions - religious, mythological or governmental, which claim not only to know what is “natural,” but are even ready to issue their own stamps of “naturalization.”