EVA MUELLER, SHORLISTED 3RD BIENNIAL’S GRANT 

BLACK FACE PROJECT

BLACK FACE is an anti-racism project created by Eva Mueller. It is a series of

19 portraits of people of all genders, races and ethnicities whose faces are

painted pure black.

Black, because it takes us back to the beginning of our race, the human race, in

Africa. Black, because it is the anti-color, it swallows all light, distractions vanish,

only pure form remains.

By zooming into each face, not showing hair or any other reference to cultural

and racial heritage, the eyes become the only portal for the viewer. We are

allowed a glimpse deep into the soul of each individual. In that moment, we enter

into a stillness, a collective recognition of what connects us all on a deeper level.

Looking into the eyes of each person in the series we realize that the genders

seem to blur and move to the background.

Participants spend about half an hour getting their faces meticulously painted by

the artist, which gives both parties time to get familiar with each others presence

before the actual photograph is taken.

A new way of seeing oneself opens up while being liberated from the confines of

ethnicity, race, and gender. One realizes that we are all human beings.

With the grant money, I would like to show BLACK FACE in schools, universities

and/or institutions that talk about race and diversity. For the exhibition I would like

to create another video piece as that was the piece that mesmerized the viewers

the most. Also I would like to produce 4 more mounted and framed photographs

to bring the total of pieces up to 10 to show the scope of the work.

In addition to that I would like to offer The BLACK FACE Experience to select

persons depending on time and funding available.

The Exhibition:

At the present time, the show consists of 6 mounted and framed photographs,

23” x 32”.

Framed photographs and video installation.

The Video:

BLACK FACE morph video.

Edition of 3 (the video piece in the exhibition sold)

This video consists of 19 faces with a total duration of 10:31 minutes.

These faces continuously morph one into the next at a slow pace with barely

perceptible shifts as the faces change. Each transition from face to face lasts

approximately 30 seconds.

The video can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/155482712

38in x 30in x 4” 4K Sony 43” video monitor, hand welded and blackened steel frame with

mounting plate, remote and wireless keyboard

The BLACK FACE Experience:

Anyone who is interested to experience this process can apply. I will be painting the

sitters face with water based theatrical non-toxic make-up. The painting process takes

app 30 minutes and creates an intimate bond between the artist and the subject. When

the persons face is completely black, they can look at themselves in the mirror. The

emotions felt when they see themselves for the first time being completely black are

profound. Its different for everyone. The sitter is invited to share their experience and

how it makes them feel.

The actual photo shoot takes around 15 minutes. The whole process will be video taped.

The resulting photograph will become part of the Black Face series.

Various stages of the painting process.

www.evamueller-art.com

GenderFuck

Eva Mueller explores gender definition and gender fluidity in her portrait series

GenderFuck. It is also an invitation to rethink one’s own stance on gender definition.

Not being certain about a person’s gender can create an uncertainty that touches us

deep inside and takes us out of our comfort zone, however it also teaches us to break

free from old restrictions and limitations and see with a liberated eye.

Mueller takes a look between the poles of our binary system of gender where the lines

blur, cross over and sometimes even loop around full circle. The images are exhilarating

and wildly inspiring.

The subjects range from drag performers, transgender and non-binary individuals to

persons who are exploring their gender-identity in a playful way.

I would like to continue to photograph for the series and create a coffee table book

GenderFuck with photographs, interviews and short essays about some of the subject’s

journey.

Exhibition at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

www.evamueller-art.com