Characteristic Faces

On hawk noses and chipmunk cheeks
14.03.15 - 27.09.15

Prejudice and stereotypes are as old as humanity itself. In Ancient Greece there already was lots of speculation on the meaning of bodily and facial structures. What does the face hide? Is there a way of ‘reading’ the head? Does the ‘born criminal’ exist?

Why do we believe that the outside tells something more about the inside, about our way of thinking and our talents? Characteristic Faces. On hawk noses and chipmunk cheeks questions the relationship between inside and out and its presence in psychiatry, criminology, and the public opinion. The exhibition illustrates this intriguing but problematic history. At the same time it shows how these old notions are still present today. The role prejudice and stereotypes play in the media and in everyday life must not be underestimated.

Characteristic Faces is a coproduction with Teylers Museum in Harlem, The Netherlands.

A richly illustrated catalogue of the same name accompanies the exhibition. (Dutch and Eng., 160 p., Uitgeverij Lannoo)

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