Materials: papier-maché, year: 2020
Siba Sahabi’s series of nine abstract masks expresses loneliness.
Loneliness occupies an almost invisible space in our society. Although many people deal with it, honest discussion of these emotions remains taboo. From an evolutionary point of view, humans are programmed to connect their fates to others. Historically, being part of a community was every individual’s main life insurance. As a member of a community, you fought dangers together, from foes to famines. To be expelled from your community often meant a death sentence.

Our society has changed beyond recognition in the past centuries. In Western society we now strive for individualism and personal independence. Yet the connection with others is what makes us truly happy and fulfilled. We still want to occupy a permanent place in one or more communities. Loneliness, the fear of social isolation, is an emotion that continues to make us deeply unhappy.

Not many of us feel comfortable expressing such feelings, however. To discuss them, is to be vulnerable. Who do you trust enough to admit that you (sometimes) feel lonely? 
With her new work, photographed in collaboration with Henri Verhoef, Sahabi expresses the emotion of loneliness.

The open structures of her masks reveal the face but form an insulating shell around it. The origami-shaped objects, in the colour of night blue, are hand-made from papier-maché and measure up to 60 cm in width.

Limited edition of 9 
photography by Henri Verhoef
This project is kindly supported by the Dutch Embassy in Brussels and RAUM.

Nexus is part of the collection of the Design Museum in Den Bosch.

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