Mask Behrens
solo gallery exhibition
(17. April–16. July 2021: Kunstraum Traube, Mühltal, Germany; 09. September–15. October 2022: Der Mixer, Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

Masks and performative photographs by Marc Behrens, created by the artist from 2020 to 2021, partly in collaboration with Robert Schittko, Carlo Kurth and Mara Lou Kurth.

When in 2020, in the third year of drought, huge areas of forest are infested with pests and cleared, Behrens presents himself as Yellow Pink Mask in the middle of a clearing area. His otherwise naked, vulnerable body gets exposed to sun and soil erosion. One can perhaps sense the destroyed cohesion of fungal mycelium networks and their partner plants. Empowered and protected by the masking made of deformed and coloured plastic, Behrens turns the performative moment in the photograph into a work of art. To a ritual in order to remain operational in the complex reality.

Mask Behrens begins in 2013 with a small, self-made burqa for the performance Clould, last performed in 2019. It is about the connection of frequent flying with supernatural beings that supposedly live in the clouds, or whose body parts and juices supposedly create the clouds in the first place – like the dismembered brain of the giant Ymir. Actually, the subject of masks already plays a role for Behrens in his final thesis Body Modification Körperdesign at HfG Offenbach (Germany) 20 years ago. In 2020, Marc Behrens – transmogrifying his own first name – resumes to explore masks, this time with a focus on selfies, privacy in court proceedings, camouflage against facial recognition, climate change or modern rites of passage.

The Mask Behrens project and the catalogue of the same name, published by KANN-Verlag (Frankfurt am Main) in 2021, were funded within the framework of the cultural promotion programme “Hessen kulturell neu eröffnen” by Hessische Kulturstiftung.

1, 2, 4, 5 © 2021 Marc Behrens
3 © 2021 Carlo Kurth and Marc Behrens.



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