"Antimask" of extreme emotions - the extraordinary work of students of Architecture on display in the Main Building | The Faculty of Architecture at the Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2022-02-03

"Antimask" of extreme emotions - the extraordinary work of students of Architecture on display in the Main Building

photos on the wall in the GUT main building
"Antimask" of extreme emotions
The extraordinary work of students of the Faculty of Architecture is displayed on the first floor of the Main Building of Gdańsk Tech. These are two photographic images, a kind of record of emotions from the time of the first waves of the Covid-19 pandemic and being isolated at home.

The originator of the artistic project is a sculptor, Paweł Sasin, MA from the Department of Visual Arts. It was him and professor Janusz Tkaczuk who faced the challenge of conducting online sculpture classes.

–The necessity for isolation, social distance and other orders and restrictions concerning personal freedom, threats resulting from the spreading disease, as well as a huge number of serious illnesses and deaths - all these circumstances became a pretext for setting students, during the sculpture classes, the task entitled "Self-portrait in a mask "- explains the artist. The students were given the task to create, using any technique and available materials, a composition using their own bust. This work was to be a visual representation, symbolizing the emotional state of the author caused by the pandemic situation in which we all found ourselves for the first time in our lives. Together with the professor, we met with students many times, discussing their ideas and interpretations. We wanted them to have comfortable conditions for the implementation of this project and to be able to open up and show their emotions.

The final stage of the work was to create two photos. The first photo showed the bust of the, and the second one was to illustrate an abstract composition created in the body art convention, which obscures the original bust like a "mask". The former is a typical photographic self-portrait, and the latter is a "masked self-portrait", so named because of a very specific context - the obligatory wearing of protective masks. In fact, the latter is the "anti-mask", that is, not covering but revealing oneself.

Apart from artistic activities, a short description of the author's personal emotions was required from the students.

The work was carried out by students of engineering studies, the 4th semester in the 2020/2021 academic year and the 3rd semester in the 2021/2022 academic year.

– Thanks to this, we have an artistic document from the first year of the pandemic - a sign of the times. A collection of about 250 double self-portraits was created, presented in the form of a tableau, a monumental artistic composition that can be treated as a timeless visual event, an autonomous work of art - says Paweł Sasin.

The viewer is drawn in by both pictures, it is difficult to pass by them indifferently, you can watch them many times and discover something new each time. Not only their execution with the use of modern photography and binding technologies, but above all, the form of presentation is worth noting. These are not two classic rectangles, but two individual compositions symbolizing a wave that rises and falls, as is the case with the pandemic.