The artist Ana Prvacki’s finest productions allure, confound and ultimately unsettle. “Multimask” is exactly that. Produced during quarantine for the 13th Gwangju Biennale and viewable online, the two-and-a-half-minute video purports to advertise a new type of face mask, perfect for our times of mass contagion, high stress and constant surveillance. As with all great satire, “Multimask” is almost believable, and in some sense you have to be in on the joke in order to get it. Not all Americans are there, sad to say, but if they were we might not need such thoughtful irony. Silver lining! Prvacki helps encourage critical viewership by designing her mask as a smiley face with terrifyingly tiny eyes, serpentine elastic bands, and a red filtering valve where the stub of a cigar would be. Anyone who actually walked around wearing such a device would look like an insane and dangerous clown, even if the interior surface of cucumber slices or honeycomb were soothing as can be. (It’s a 3-in-1 mask, after all.) I’m thinking of ordering a pack of ten.
—Lori Waxman 2020-07-10 5:02 PM