Skin is an ambiguous construct. It is the external cover of the body, a soft and strong protection. It is body’s visual representation too. Yet, as it wraps the body tightly, it cannot be taken off nor changed. Moreover, skin not only represents the body but also dooms it to the particular look. It is skin that signalizes individual’s identity which criteria – gender, race, age - are defined and afterwards imposed by politics, economy and culture.
The photographic series combines of self-portraits in disguise. The realistic, silicone costumes imitating female face and body are broadly used by a Female Masking fetish and crossdressing subculture that became a direct inspiration for the series.
The idea of a “second skin” is thus dubious and symbolic. On one hand, it provides a tool for embodying an alter-ego and expressing individual’s freedom of choice of their identity – and as such it is employed by the Masking community. On the other hand, the act of wearing the female mask by a woman puts the disguise into a far different context as it becomes an uncanny and claustrophobic costume that emphasizes these imposed qualities – the criteria that signalizes oppression, discrimination and control.
Masochistki group exhibition
Zona Sztuki Aktualnej, Szczecin
16.05. - 16.06. 2019
Agnieszka Grodzińska, Grupa SędziaGłówny, Aneta Grzeszykowska / Jan Smaga, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Zofia Krawiec, Natalia LL, Iga Świeściak, Agata Wieczorek, Agata Zbylut
Curated by: Zofia Krawiec
Documentation: Janusz Piszczatowski