#WearAMask by Mira Calix
I have created a range of three limited edition colour toned collage masks to brighten up our faces (that we shouldn’t touch) and help raise money for Doctors of The World, an independent humanitarian movement that provide medical care, strengthen health systems working with the vulnerable in the U.K. and internationally. I feel strongly about and am supportive of groups working with and advocating for migrants, refugees and the vulnerable, particularly in relation to healthcare in the face of this pandemic.
As we begin to look ahead to a post-lockdown world, face masks look set to play an increasingly central role in our lives, and arguably become the most visible element of our wardrobes. Public use of face masks has been common in Asia since the beginning of the Covid 19 disease outbreak. Regulations vary across the world, from obligatory to advisory in public and closed spaces, In the U.K. the choice is currently a personal one and it has been the one staple of my lockdown look. As a precautionary measure, cloth masks are effective in stopping the spread of the virus - washed after use - and reduce the strain on surgical grade supplies which i’m sure we all agree should be prioritised for healthcare workers.
Face masks not only have a utilitarian purpose but are an opportunity to communicate our desire for social responsibility and sartorial dash. The #calixagainstcovid masks are washable, made of soft, quilted cotton, produced in the U.K and come in one of three of my collage prints:
- unity blue - crafted cut ups of surgical masks, flags, banners and wallpapers
- museum green - featuring old masters and organic abstracts
- current monochrome - made with surgical gloves, newsprint and a sense of humour
Middle of nose to behind ear (one side) 15.6 - 16.5 cm
Middle of nose to just under chin (max.) 12.5 - 12.5 cm
lazy river by Mira Calix
Created as a download release to accompany her range of cloth face masks, designed by Calix and adorned with the collages that she made during lock-down. The track itself is a hyper-collage made from hundreds of clips collated from Twitter as the pandemic took hold, all set to a pounding drum loop, chronicling the world-wide responses to Covid-19 through the lens of social media. This archive of effectual gleanings is then disjunctively interrupted with her own field recordings made on daily walks in the suddenly eerily quiet suburban town in which she is based. In contrast with many works that have surfaced from personal lock-down field-recording projects the track seethes with a righteous anger and overtly political energy; the return to nature glimpsed in her recordings is secondary to the pandemonium of the world news cycle that enters the otherwise quiet, private and solitary domain of lock-down Britain. The dense collage starts with singing in Naples and ends with the whistles of Wuhan, via Brazil, Spain, New York, and Germany. Neighbourhoods commune across balconies, blasts of horns sound in support of key workers, pots and pans are thumped for the NHS, nurses plea for PPE, streets erupt in singing, the bells of Notre Dame ring out, doctors state facts and politicians bury them under a theatre of figures, ad-hoc protests spout 5G conspiracies, and the press comment upon comments in overlapping waves of contradiction and virtual noise. These sounds connect us with others through the digital space in a strange solidarity, but also exist in painful contrast to the personal, introverted experience of the unexpected solitude of the newly-reclusive life. The track explores these two separate but simultaneously lived realities; the body is in the localised physical space of hushed emptiness, yet at the same time the second body is simultaneously connected to a ever-changing and highly politicised stream; the world reacting in real time to an unforeseen transformation of the world as we knew it. The track could be understood as an extended advert for the rational of wearing a mask for the foreseeable future; as we gradually return to the outdoors to explore the world as we find it anew.