Taryn Simon, LARRY MAYES Scene of arrest, The Royal Inn, Gary Indiana, Police found Mayes hiding beneath a mattress in this room (Served 18.5 years of an 80­-year sentence for Rape, Robbery and Unlawful Deviate Conduct), 2002 © Taryn Simon.

"THE FACE: A Search for Clues" at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, Germany.

On view August 19, 2017 through February 25, 2018.

We see faces every day, often in personal, face-to-face encounters. But it’s much more than that: They constantly look back at us as portraits of prominent personalities in glossy magazines or on our computer screens, as selfies on the Internet, from posters and from paintings. Innumerable cameras and databases save images of faces. How does this ubiquitous media presence alter our relationship to the face itself? What influence does it have on our self-image and our communication? The exhibition seeks to explore such questions.

Most encounters with others begin by looking at their faces, and what we see there helps to form our first impressions. We frequently judge people by their faces or associate them with a social group. But how can we be so sure that someone is friendly or arrogant? And, what do others read into our faces?

Nothing can be done about one’s face—or so it’s said. It’s a part of the body that nature has given us. Still, we don’t just leave it at that. Every day we attend to our faces in front of a mirror with makeup, tweezers, and razors. What conceptions about ourselves are we pursuing? Which societal norms and fashions? And do our faces first become complete when we expose them to the views of others?


Deutsches Hygiene-Museum | T. +49.351.4846 | E. [email protected]
Lingnerplatz 1 | 01069 Dresden | Germany
Website: DHMD | THE FACE