This groundbreaking exhibition will consider the past, present, and future of disguise, a visual act and psychological state that can be a mask, a costume, or just a smile. The exhibition will include 50 masks and 10 costumes from SAM’s African art collection and about 100 objects on loan. Masks from SAM’s African art collection will stimulate visitors’ imaginations as they consider disguise as animal avatars, authority figures, altered portraits, and minimalist expressions.
Disguise will take an in-depth look at 10 contemporary artists whose work has a distinctive way of addressing the subject. All will offer a variety of ways of embodying disguise—in drawings, photographs, videos, masks, sculptures, performances, and installations. Many combine media in innovative ways, enabling disguise to evolve with a mixture of documentary and personally created imagery. Select artists will participate in site-specific installations and performances.
The exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum and curated by Pamela McClusky, Curator of African and Oceanic Art for the Seattle Art Museum, and Erika Dalya Massaquoi, Consultant Curator.