The premise of this exhibition is to explore the common occurrence of images of hidden faces in the creative arts. I first became acquainted with the notion of hidden faces a decade ago, while still in the fashion industry. Through my collections I experimented with covering models’ faces in masks or hair, thus attempting to make a statement on the constant "overdose of beauty" and artificiality permeating contemporary society through the media. This suggested a possible return to masks as a solution for covering destabilized identities.

Throughout my art studies and practice, I have been striving to bind together fashion and art - inspired by sociopolitical investigations. After noticing the like-minded interest in the subject matter, I began to collect a variety of faceless works to try and understand why they exist and what they are trying to communicate.

September 11 and its consequences came about in an important phase of my creative development and have had an impact on my interest on facelessness ever since. It would be fair to say that this event was one of the triggers that provoked this tendency in my work. The fear of terrorist attacks led to a change in security concepts and the installment of surveillance systems in public spaces – presented to us as if for our own safety. As a result, we feel that our faces are becoming "compressed" and exposed. The only way for us to regain this lost privacy is through subversive media strategies or by reinventing privacy.

Following the events of 9/11, images of masked faces of terrorists became dominant in the media; repeated as a ghostly, unknown presence that reminds us of the unsafe time we live in. At the same time, throughout Europe people began to pursue a ban on burqas. Events like the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands led to public discussions on the impact of Muslim culture through Muslim minorities on so-called "western values". I explored this metaphorically in my graduate work "Deranged", where the artwork and the viewer are simultaneously deranged by each other’s presence.

In addition to the loss of privacy, the rules of modern technology demand that we be constantly visible. Social networks, initially developed as platforms for communication, came to define standards of everyday activity and lifestyle. They approach us with the promise of serving as tools for self-promotion, then increasingly invade our privacy with our express consent.

The unstable identity of the present begs for the return of power of the mask from ancient times, when it was used as a form of protection, disguise, performance, or just plain entertainment.

Bogomir Doringer
Artist and curator 


FACELESS EXHIBITION at De Markten, Brussels
in the context of the 8th edition of the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference

OPENING: January 21, 18:30 - 22:00

DURATION: January 22 - February 8, 2015
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12:00-18:00
Location: De Markten vzw, Oude Graanmarkt 5, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

GUIDED TOUR with Bogomir Doringer
January 27, 12:15-13:15

featuring Josephine Bosma, Manu Luksch, Bogomir Doringer, Jeremy Bailey, Adam Harvey
January 28, 18:00-22:00


Marina Abramović, Lisette Appeldorn, Martin Backes, Jeremy Bailey, Aram Bartholl, William Basinski, Zach Blas, Thorsten Brinkmann, DAWAMESK (Thomas Mercier), Ondrej Brody & Kristofer Paetau, Sterling Crispin, Ben DeHaan, Sofie Groot Dengerink, Nezaket Ekici, Arthur Elsenaar, Shahram Entekhabi, Caron Geary aka FERAL is KINKY, David Haines, Ren Hang, Adam Harvey, Sabi van Hemert, KATSU, Brian Kenny, Ute Klein, Miodrag Krkobabić, Vanessa Lodigiani, Zachari Logan, Jill Magid, Slava Mogutin, Veljko Onjin, Bernd Oppl, Tanja Ostojić, Marco Pezzotta, Gerda Postma, Eva-Maria Raab, RAF SIMONS, Daphne Rosenthal, Tarron Ruiz-Avila, Mustafa Sabbagh, Olivier de Sagazan, Daniel Sannwald for WOODKID, Carmen Schabracq, Frank Schallmaier, Hester Scheurwater, Tim Silver, Jan Stradtmann, Sergei Sviatchenko, Filippos Tsitsopoulos, Saša Tkačenko, Marc Turlan, Levi van Veluw, Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek, Philippe Vogelenzang & Majid Karrouch, Martin C de Waal, Bernhard Willhelm, Andrew Norman Wilson, Lucy Wood and Jwan Yosef

Privacy Salon vzw en Restart vzw

IAPP, deBuren, Vrije Universiteit Brussel,  De Markten and freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL / MuseumsQuartier Wenen



CONTRIBUTORS FROM www.facelessexhibition.net

Abbas Noori, Adriana Bogdanova, Alan Marcheselli, Amanda Morgan Jansson, Andrea Judit Tiringer, Andreas Messinger, Anna Meschiari, Anne Brannys, Barbara Loisch, Ben Bibriesca, Bertram List, Billyjane Marinkovich, Brice Chatenoud, Carmen Palermo, Christina Phan, Christos Kapralos, Christos Tzimas, Darko Taleski, Deborah Kelly, Dejan Batrićević, DIORALOP, Dirk H. Wilms, Florian Aschka, Francesca Caraffini, Gregor Wintgens, Heidi Schatzl, Jodi Lynn Concepcion, Joe Sobel, Joline Platje, Katarzyna Szugajew, Keanoush Da Rosa, Lique Schoot, Manuel Rodrigues, Marija Sevic, Marta Djekic, Masha, Meo Smeik, Michaela Knížová, Michal Rutz, Michela Pelusio, Miodrag Guberinic, Nathan Langlois, Nicolas Ocampo Ayub, Noël M. G. Gaar, Pablo Ravazzani, Polly Karpova, Raphael Rehbach, René Schmalschläger, Sabrina Baruzzi, St.Luke, Stefan Joksic, Stefan Joksic & Milan Bogovac, Tonči Kranjčević Batalić and many others.