FACE IT! Who do you want to be?
A cinematic intervention by Cyril Schäublin at the Ludwig Museum Koblenz Collection, curated by Katharina Arimont
5th April to 16th June 2019
Still, Cyril Schäublin, "Le visage que tu mérites", short film, 2018, 4 Min, 1,77:1, 2018, film still,
"Face it! Who do you want to be" is an exhibition about the film "Le visage que tu mérites/The face you deserve" (2018) by the internationally successful film director Cyril Schäublin, who intervenes at Ludwig Museum Koblenz: Curated by art historian Katharina Arimont, the film, which was supported by Le Manoir Art at the beginning of 2018, will be related to the works in the museum's collection. The new presentation takes up the main theme of the film and revolves around the human face as a mirror of one's own identity, often caught up in social conventions.
The face as a mirror
The face is a mirror of our inner state. At the same time it can function as a masquerade that we adapt to the ideals of society. How we feel and how we show ourselves to the outside world is reflected in our face. Mirrors therefore have an enticing effect on us humans. A quick glance to check one's own image is often unconscious and at the same time a conscious routine. In the morning in the bathroom, while walking past a reflecting pane or in elevators with mirror walls. It is almost inevitable: we are constantly confronted with our image. What moves and triggers in us? - questions like these are the starting point of the exhibition which revolves around ideas about who we are, who we can be, and how our own face and the faces of others confront us every day with these kind of questions.
How we live our lives and the way life leaves traces on our face - this is the question Cyril Schäublin addresses in his short film "Le visage que tu mérites“: In an elevator with a mirrored wall, we see people of different ages, their faces in close-up. Strangers stand anonymously but physically close to each other. For a short moment they are alone with themselves, their thoughts and their reflection. We see restless glances that occasionally dare to take a look at their own reflection. Thus a young woman looks at her image in a charming and enraptured way, an older woman looks stealthily into the mirror, as if she fears to become aware of something: the transience of her own life.
Our appearance and our character are determined on the one hand by our genes and on the other hand by the context in which we live in. In his film Cyril Schäublin refers to an aphorism by Coco Chanel: "Nature gives you the face you have at 20. Life shapes the face you have at 30. But at 50, you have the face you deserve."
The aspects raised by "Le visage que tu mérites" find their references in works of art from the collection of the Ludwig Museum Koblenz that are dedicated to inner, psychological processes and play with external social needs and human desires.
In the midst of these two opposing positions, the exhibition shows another film by Cyril Schäublin, "My Brother, the Raven" (2008), which is thematically dedicated to the process of change of the natural primeval man. To him vanities were alien, but when he entered society he experienced a change. In addition the video work “Soul in the Hole“ (2018) by Ilya Pusenkoff (*1983), which directly involves the viewer through its interactive character, is displaced.
Cyril Schäublin, "Le visage que tu mérites", short film, 2018, 4 min, 1,77:1, 2018, film still,
© Cyril Schäublin/Le Manoir Art
View of Lisa Rudigier's work "Attempts to speak" (1994), detail © Ludwig Museum Koblenz, photo: Aleksandra Cieślewicz
Cyril Schäublin, "Le visage que tu mérites", short film, 2018, 4 min, 1,77:1, 2018, film still, © Cyril Schäublin/Le Manoir Art
View of the exhibition "Face it! Who do you want to be?", work "My Brother the Raven, 2008, short film by Cyril Schäublin © Le Manoir Art/ Ludwig Museum Koblenz, photo: Aleksandra Cieślewicz
Ilya Pusenkoff in front of his video instalation "Soul in the Hole" (2018) © Ludwig Museum Koblenz, photo: Aleksandra Cieślewicz
Text design © Christian von der Heide
SWR report on the exhibition from 04/10/2019,
"Face it! Who do you want to be?"
was realized in cooperation with: