October 12 - November 11
155 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Congregation, a site-specific installation of more than two hundred paper-cast mask face-prints by New York Artist Louise McCagg. This body of work, part of which was represented in the Hungarian Pavilion in the Venice Biennale in 2009, will be shown at the A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
This piece creates a space in which the viewer is able to gaze at the hundreds of subjects without any of them gazing back. There is a disturbing quietness in the collection of silent faces. “Congregation” is, as stated in Saint Peters Church Press in 2000, a collection of souls.
In this body of work McCagg developed a technique of shrinking life masks and being able to control the sizes of the masks that range from the size of a grapefruit to that of a large marble.
As quoted by Nancy Stula, Executive Director of William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs: “Through casting, Louise explores the many ‘faces’ of a person and the nuances of their personality. She begins with an initial mold cast directly from the subject’s face, a life mask essentially. Because the masks are taken directly from the sitter, they bear the imprint of their faces, the texture of their skin. The eyes are always closed and this feature, a practical remnant of the process which starts with a life mask, serves to give the viewer the license to peek a little bit closer at Louise’s heads and faces. If their eyes are closed they can’t see us, to engage us in dialogue or to challenge us.”