With the #7 issue Current Obsession is attempting to examine the ancient notion of self-enhancement and alteration. What happens when a person puts on an object of empowerment, an object that transformation, that allows them to transcend and to become…
The idea originated from the interview we did with the several curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York about the exhibition ‘Jewelry: The Body Transformed’. The exhibition dealt with presence of ‘transformative’ objects across cultures and included a large selection of pieces from the museum’s collection. One category of these pieces were the pre-Columbian ‘mouth masks’ – large face ornaments made in gold that attached to the septum of the nose, and obscured the mouth. Mouth masks also hid the source of the wearer’s voice, possibly intended to create a supernatural effect, aided by the dangling gold disks that wold shimmer and make clinking sounds.
The similarity of these ancient objects – in both their shape and their intentions – to today’s digital face filters is striking. Why did people feel the need to wear those object and why do they feel the need to alternate their features today? What remained and what changed in their intention? Cyberspace is saturated with digital avatars and rendered stand-ins, and the need to alternate has become more massive today than ever.
The two distant points in history connect and become a base for the next magazine. We decided to build a non-linear timeline, where the ‘stages’ of such becoming could be looked at, speculated on, imagined, and theorised. Each chapter discusses a different approach to self-enhancement and alteration, proposed by the contributing writers and artists, allowing the reader to ‘jump in’ at any point of the timeline.
We are thrilled to work with a number of fantastic contributors and can’t wait for the issue to be released this fall. Pre-order the magazine here and help us fund its production. Thank you!