Tina Hage


Face Control

curated by Urs Stahel

at Foto Colectania, Barcelona
3th of December 2021 - 21st March 2022

Series Gestalt (guise) shown in exhibition

Foto: © Violeta Cañigueral_FACE CONTROL

Foto: Preview Face Control © Selva Ramírez

Foto: © Violeta Cañigueral_FACE CONTROL

Foto: Preview Face Control © Selva Ramírez
Press text 
Face Control

by Urs Stahel


The history of the face begins with the masks of the Stone Age and ends with the faces produced by the modern mass media. The famous art historian Hans Belting discovered in his book "Faces - a History of the Face" in theater masks, in the actor's facial expressions, in European portraiture, in photography, in film and in contemporary art, the manifold attempts to take possession of the face. And in doing so, he simultaneously demonstrated the permanent failure of representating the life of the face and of the self.

Although life is ultimately unrepresentable, remains resistant to all norms and clichés, it nevertheless forces its way into the picture again and again, especially through the face. In recent years in a quantity, a fullness, an offensive as never before in the life of mankind. The exhibition "FACE CONTROL" wants to face this situation, following two lines: First, the line of increasing control of the face from the outside, the perpetual attempts to gain political or economic control over people through the measurement, the recognition and the recording of faces. And second, the control of the face from within. We humans, driven by the representations in social media, want to achieve as complete control as possible over how we appear in the photographic or videographic portrait. To do this, we are willing to do almost anything to radically optimize our faces. Even if, in the end, we may look the same as everyone else.

Of course, the exhibition will deal with selfies, with face control by the police, and with our resulting desire to totally cover ourselves up, to hide. But it will start with some historical attempts and maybe end with a void.

The exhibition will include historical books by Giacomo della Porta, Lavater, Duchenne, Bertillon, Galton, Szondi etc., and photographic and videographic works by a variety of artists, including Diane Arbus, James Bantone, Broomberg/Chanarin, Daniele Buetti, Shu Lea Cheang,  Paolo Cirio, Eli Cortiñas, JH Engström, Adam Feriss, Tina Hage, Richard Hamilton, Alma Haser, Lynne Hershman, Roni Horn, Yuyi John/Fabiola Larios, Tommy Kha, Eva o’Leary, Maria Mavropoulo, Simone Niquille, Trevor Paglen, Willem Popelier, Thomas Ruff.

©Tina Hage 2024