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Photograph of hoods exhibited in the exhibition "La Máscara nunca miente" (The Mask Never Lies).
Photograph of hoods exhibited for La Máscara nunca miente (The Mask Never Lies). Photo: Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona.

An exhibition of masks and hoods at the CCCB

An interdisciplinary exhibition at the CCCB revisits the political, social and cultural character of the mask and hood.

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From the beginnings of the Ku Klux Klan, through V for Vendetta to the Pussy Riot and Las migras de Abya Yala, the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), opened the exhibition La máscara no menteix mai (The mask never lies) on Tuesday, Dec. 14, an exhibition conceived by Jordi Costa, head of the exhibition department at the CCCB. 

Curated by Servando Rocha and Jordi Costa, the exhibition presents the history of the mask from a cultural, anthropological and political perspective. It begins with an example from the Neolithic period, and continues by reviewing seven major themes. From the use of the mask as a repressive element to its revolutionary character in feminist collectives, such as Pussy Riot or Las Migra de Abya Yala.

Despite the historical context provided by the exhibition, it also allows the public to reflect on the way we relate to each other on social media There, we do not always show our face, but also offer our current day to day life amid the pandemic. In short, "we all wear our faces half hidden" with surgical masks, as the exhibition says. 

The Mask Never Lies reflects on how in our lives we put on a mask to live a real experience, not to lie. While the use of masks has been linked to an attempt to hide faces to commit crimes, Costa recalls that "the criminal of the fluid face, like Fantômas, influenced the transgression of the surrealists." 

The exhibition also goes through the masks of Mexican fighters re-signified as a political response by the Zapatistas, and the re-reading of the hoods by the feminist collectives Pussy Riot and Las Migras de Abya Yala, based in Barcelona who use the hood as an ally and symbol of the feminist revolution.

If you plan to travel around Barcelona, you can find this exhibition until May 1, 2022 at the CCCB in the Raval neighborhood.

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