‘Facebook’ Frome at the Frome Festival 2012 is a literally multi-faceted exhibition which aims to initiate collaboration and interaction between the artist, the art work and the local community – as both participants and observers.
Belgian artist, Hans Borgonjon, is creating a wall of porcelain faces at the Silk Mill Studios, life cast from a cross-section of the people of his home town of Frome. The associations with Facebook are inevitable. However, this exhibition intends to raise questions on many different levels. In an age of social networking where we may not have even met our online ‘friend’ face to face, ‘Facebook’ Frome asks what it is to relate to another person, what our face means to us and what it can portray to others? What are the real masks we habitually wear? Through the process of taking the life casts, the artist himself comes into real life contact with people that he does not know. The anonymous faces on show may be people that we have seen locally but perhaps not really noticed or interacted with before. As Borgonjon says “It is easy to be part of the same safe group of friends and family but how do our thoughts and feelings change when we face another?”
Face casting traditionally draws on the memento mori, particularly Victorian death masks. But the intention of the exhibition is also to demystify and re-invent this into a contemporary form which reflects the many faces of life and human relationships through living portraits. Some of the ceramic casts will be shown as a 3-D negative, giving the illusion of animation, so that the faces appear to be following the viewer around the gallery.
Listen to my interview with David Chandler ‘Seeing Things’ on Frome FM
Friday 6th July to Sunday 15th July, 11am- 5pm daily