Artist Ricardo Romero
“Behind our masks” by Ricardo Romero at São Pedro de Moel in Marinha Grande, Portugal.
“The mask that belongs to everyone and that belongs to no one. The mask that protects, that hides, that reveals and that deceives. The mask and its plurality.”
Ricardo Romero: We take the mask off to keep the one on the inside. That the world around us crosses swampy landscapes is nothing new; What is new, perhaps, is to see how our lives change and change in what is increasingly immutable, in the habits of each and every one, and in what will possibly be seen in a future from which we cannot escape.
In the shadow of what remains, is the chronology of the imaginary. Since expression is a unique vehicle in the way we have been communicating since always, and forever, we attribute today to free will the universality of interpretations that reveal themselves to be adjacent to any behavior: the motor-visage, the first facade – closed for works -, the artistic exhibition that we attribute to the way we look and how we are looked at, in an almost perfect juggling act between what we want to show and what we actually show.
Countless times we have recognized how the fear of a face is capable of generating change
Ricardo Romero: Herein lies the true superpower of disguise: the infinite possibility of unreality. The mere mask, and its effect on us.
We feel more secure, more confident, free from danger and fear, under its purview. We masterfully hide any flaw or feature, we attribute merit to the courage to be able to do and say everything that we had not said until then. We reveal the bow to the countenance we bring.
Countless times we have recognized how the fear of a face is capable of generating change, something that has been marked in human history through the great wars, in events that have developed until the culmination of important movements that appear today imprinted in societies and in everyday life. There are even those who say – with the mask they choose – that we live a war; a phenomenon that will undoubtedly change our form of world organization.
The face matters for communication and its behavior is an integral part of our culture, but what face will we see in a world of masks? Is face covering what we can expect from each other?
Without looking at classes, will the practice of empathy and its social impact serve as sufficient reflection?
Ricardo Romero: By attributing a false protective power to the mask, our supreme security, as well as the stability of the ego, will be in equal threat. Without looking at classes, will the practice of empathy and its social impact serve as sufficient reflection?
Deep down, the masked being is nothing more than a tool that increases an illusory sensation, when displaced from its elementary purpose. We thus gravitate between enigma and astonishment in the freedom to decide not to show what the face reveals.
By merging the frame of the disguise with the real face, we arrive at a painless embankment within ourselves: a plunge into the collective hand that we bring to our face.