Modes jaunumi

MFW: Gucci Fall-Winter 2019-2020

The mask as a cut between visible and invisible
Reading time 2 minutes

The inspiration for Gucci Autumn-Winter 2019-2020 lies in the explanation of Alessandro Michele.

Let me remind you of the etymological origin of the word 'person', which derives from the Latin 'persona' and remains almost unchanged in all European languages. 'Person' originally defined the mask that covered the actor's 'personal' face and served to show viewers what their role was in the drama ". Hannah Arendt reminds us that we are people when we choose the mask through which we show ourselves on the stage of the world. It is in this shared scene of appearance that we define our subjectivity and our ethical and political positioning. It is in this exposition on the public scene that individuals reveal themselves to each other in their plural identities. The space of visibility, therefore, constitutes the condition of possibility of being together and at the same time different. A certain metaphysical prejudice has always seen in the mask an instrument of concealment and falsification of reality. Something that would make us irreparably inauthentic. But if by authenticity we mean the possibility of adhering to the idea we have of ourselves, the mask becomes the means to become what we feel we are. In fact, the mask allows us to show ourselves how we want and to play our role as actors as we see fit. It is possible to choose how to exercise our freedom to expose us through a powerful filter that constantly selects what we want to share with us and what we want to remain hidden. In reflecting on the nature of appearance Arendt highlights its dual function of showing and concealing at the same time. What appears, in fact, never shows itself in its entirety: the unveiling of some parts ends up concealing others. Even the mask always contains a tension between divergent impulses: exhibition and concealment, manifestation and protection, vanity and modesty. A mask is a form. And as every form is able to repair, cover and contextually expose. It is not by chance that it consists of two surfaces made of the same material, one concave and the other convex. Lay one on top of the other. Their union is able to join the outside within, the presence of absence, the visible to the invisible. In the mask, the depth coincides with the surface. The wearer dresses in what denudes it. Playing with the magical ambiguity of masks is, therefore, an opportunity to recover the creative roots of our being in the world. To live "as distinct and unique among equals" (H. Arendt). If appearance represents the physiological condition of our thinking of ourselves as persons in relationship, masks can offer themselves as the means by which to give citizenship rights to our multiple becoming.


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