Pair V

2007

Stezaker, John
This work, along with 'Mask LXIV', is part of an ongoing series that Stezaker has made by strategically placing landscape postcards over film stills and film actor portraits. Here, he has chosen to place a coloured landscape postcard over a black and white film still of a couple. The man leans in towards the woman's neck so that their faces are very close; their heads and shoulders would therefore have taken up the majority of the composition. However, Stezaker has positioned the postcard so that the viewer is only able to see a fraction of their chins, foreheads and hairlines. The viewer is denied the image of the actors faces. Stezaker is clearly playing with his viewer's expectations. In place of the image of the faces he has placed a postcard – a mask – which opens up a window into another view entirely. In relation to the series, Stezaker explains: 'The Masks were inspired by reading Elias Canetti's essay on masks and unmasking in 'Crowds and Power' ....I was also teaching a course on Bataille and the origins of art which focused on the mask as the origin and point of convergence of all the arts. Canetti's idea of the mask as a covering of absence and, in its fixity, as a revelation of death, alongside my discovery of Blanchot's 'Space of Literature', was an important turning point in my thinking and in my approach to my work.' Helen Loughlan
  • Artwork Details: Image, 17.8 x 24.9cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: collage
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme: Undefined
  • Medium: Collage
  • Accession number: ACC23/2007

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

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