We have nothing to fear but fear itself – FDR
No mask like open truth to cover lies, As to go naked is the best disguise.
– William Congreve
Lurking within much of the mediated body politic we inhabit lies a calling to run, to hide, to bury, to medicate, to muffle, to silence. This fear immobilizes us from action. Insurgent Bodies reclaims the ubiquitous and austere tie-string surgical mask - recently made a visible worldwide emblem of fear and panic - with the questions: Whose fear? Whose voice? Whose “cover-up?”
The human body has the imagination and the desire to eroticize confinement and transcend fear by tapping into the ancient practice of the masquerade. Covered or uncovered, the body possesses resilience in pursuit of its inalienable, earthly right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The show, part of Critchley's ongoing Maskuerade Ball Project, explores tie-string surgical masks as emblems of fear and cover-up. The photos, along with sculptural elements, investigate the erotic male body, and the fetish use of tie-string surgical masks. Other elements reference the earth body and body politic.