the misfortune mask

Mbangu misfortune mask congo

B&w wooden mask from the Leopold‘s Congo Free State genocide period (1885 – 1908), found at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium;  featured at the museum’s web page as Treasure of the month (Oct. 2011), one of the finest Pende masterpieces, linked somehow to Picasso’s Black period.

For the creators of this ritual Mbangu mask, the Pende people, a tribe known for their xylophone-based music and dances, this artifact represents someone who has been bewitched, disformed or misfortuned.

For Leopold II of Belgium, the builder king for his people, these couleur locale trophies served mostly his colonial propaganda. In its short existence, Congo Free State manage to became a byword for greed, cruelty, global hypocrisy and ruthless exploitation.

Masks and Marriages

WWT recently saw Stezaker’s amazing work at Whitechapel gallery and felt it deserves to be looked at once more.

(see previous WWT post on John’s work here)

John Stezaker (b. 1949) British conceptual artist known best for his collage series Mask, Marriage and Dark Star.

[...] Taking classic movie stills, vintage postcards and book illustrations, (John) Stezaker makes collages to give old images a new meaning. By adjusting, inverting and slicing separate pictures together to create unique new works of art, Stezaker explores the subversive force of found images [...]

more sources on Stezaker’s work:


whitechapel gallery

saatchy gallery


The Superhero Project by Abner Preis is a performance where the artist goes to work dressed as superhero in different cities around the world.

The project explores the unexpected moment of public intimacy that occurs between strangers who allow themselves to share the same imaginations with the artist.
Citizens access to the liberty of free expression that comes from wearing a mask and, by extension, the transformative power of fashion.

The Superhero Project will be presented in the context of ModoBrussels, Brussels’ premiere fashion event.

More info here & here.