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Emmanuelle Becker : Unmasked


Masks are mysterious, disturbingly inexpressive, yet powerfully evocative. They are worn in fashion, performing arts, and ceremonies in cultures worldwide and are often enigmatic and spellbinding. The tradition of mask-wearing reflects a desire for metamorphosis and differentiation, raising thought-provoking questions about the very notion of identity. Though masks conceal a person’s identity, when worn, they appear animated from within, revealing a deeper identity, making the invisible ever more visible. Their faculty to reveal human interiority is at the center of my photographic series, titled Unmasked.

The actual mask making is the first step of my work. I use natural and recycled materials to create them. This process is one of discovery. I work on each one until a character is born, often mixing animal and human forms. I then breathe life into them through photography, sometimes with suggested narratives. The body of work constitutes a portrait gallery of characters and creatures from my imagination, through which I seek to reveal the deeper reality of human existence.
Emmanuelle Becker




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