Commissioned by the University of Buffalo Art Galleries and responding to African masks from the Cravens World Collection, Insiders positions viewers behind the mask. Reversing the expected direction of museological display, these images confront the viewer with the possibility and perspective of wearing, instead of viewing, the masks. In reversing this viewer-other dynamic, Fernandes also reveals unexpected aspects of the collection — accession numbers, archivist markings, and residues of the masks' various provenances all call into question the authenticity of the objects, exposing them as subjects of museological processes. In this way, by flipping over the objects and photographing them from behind, Fernandes conceals the masks' identities, putting the processes of the museum on display in their place, and inverting the systems of power so often unquestioned in western museums and galleries.
Image courtesy of the University of Buffalo Art Galleries
Photographer, Studio Avli