In this lecture Marc Assayag will talk about his newly published book “The Stars Are Eyes” about the masks of the Abelam.
These masks, first introduced to the “outside” world some six decades ago, have hitherto always been viewed through Western eyes through Western rules of vision. However, they were not produced using these rules. They were produced by a people having a vastly different set of visual rules. This disconnect has resulted in a visual ”mistranslation” that has persisted for more than sixty years. Because of this blind spot, major components of Abelam art have been imperceptible to the Western eye. Until this day, they remained hidden in plain sight, despite being present and totally apparent to those who know how to look at the art works.
This Fall, the Musee Internationale du Carnavale et du Masque will be presenting an unique exhibit of art from Papua New Guinea. Entitled Abelam – Facing the Sky, the exhibit will run from 12 September 2020 to 7 March 2021 in the museum, located in Binche, Belgium.
The exhibit is based on the publication of Marc Assayag, the exhibit will present the art and graphics of Abelam in a manner never seen before. Furthermore, via the art of Abelam, the exhibition also reveals the way in which people communicate not only verbally but also, particularly in places like Papua New Guinea, visually as well.
With over 50 masks on display, the exhibit is a visual initiation that introduces an entirely new way of viewing art from this region. If not the world.
The Stars Are Eyes , 2020, by Marc Assayag (Author), Dr. Richard Scaglion (Foreword) USD 75,-