Fridays for the future
Installation consisting of two framed photographic images of 80 x 60 cm. each, inkjet print on cotton paper and twelve intervened cereal boxes.
The future is theirs
The mask is an archaic element in the history of the staging of the human being. Wearing a mask seems to be the basic theatrical process par excellence, since whoever wears one no longer identifies with who they really are, but with the one they want to represent. In this same sense, the press reader does not identify the highest-ranking guerrilla as Rafael Guillén, but as Subcomandante Marcos, one more of the EZLN guerrillas. The actor's mask, costumes and outward appearance are involved in the creation of the character created, completely separating him from ordinary human beings.
According to Erika Fischer-Licite in her book “Theatre Semiotics” (1999, p. 155), the fixed mask deprives its wearer of this real hierarchy; He does not let him appear as such, as he appears to others due to his position in society, but rather as someone who does not belong to society in the same way. This loss of identity entails a suggestive mystery that becomes one of the most sought-after news values. This loss of individuality in favor of the collective helps to create a meta-identity in their condition of anonymous avengers, in the manner of Batman or the hooded men of the Popol Vuh.
In this work, the use of the mask seeks singularity in a political sense of struggle, since we are all represented in them. Egos disappear and help unify and generate a certain collective force that generates a feeling of invincibility. These are not just a disguise, as can happen in many superhero stories, here they become the idea of fighting against the present challenges with the intention of seeking a better future.
Each feeling has its representation and its type of mask, and in this piece, the mask is made with inverted and pierced breakfast cereal boxes, in the purest balaclava or Mexican wrestling mask style with its multiplicity and chromatic and aesthetic variability. These boxes are obtained from a world dominated by consumption, becoming a symbol for reflection on the capitalist system from within the system to which we belong. The fight for equality, like the one started by the Chilean women in their twenties; against climate change, like the tireless Greta Thunberg; or in search of a more just and equitable society are some of the aspects that young people have ahead of them. The future belongs to these young people, but they may not have a future if human beings continue to mistreat and abuse nature or continue to commodify people, putting the economy before humanity itself.
The cereal boxes are accompanied by two images in which two girls can be seen with their faces covered by two of the masks created with cereal boxes, and who are the daughters of the artists in the work. With a serious and challenging pose, apparently angry, they stare at us questioning what we do to improve our present and future. In a world of adults, it seems that they are not being listened to and they only have to put on the mask and fight for their own future, the one that belongs to them but that they may not see, or that what they see is not what was expected. The future is at risk and if we don't save it, we won't save them.
Authors: Verónica Ruth Frías and Cyro García