2 Apr 2010

biopic 02 chapter 9

  The trip to the art fair brought things in to sharp focus. Even among the art-going middle-classes Barrie is not immune to derision and antipathy. There’s no disguising the public's fear or suspicion of his altered state. If his disfigurement had been caused by a genetic disorder or defect at birth, society would be bound by political correctness to accept or at least tolerate him. His is a case of identity theft – disenfranchised and relegated to the criminal status of his perpetrator. Barrie would willingly submit himself to the surgeon’s scalpel to gain acceptance.

Make Poverty History G8 Rally Edinburgh, 2005 (photo © Kamikaze)

 In 2005 I commissioned a knitter to knit me a pair of candy pink SAS balaclavas. The War on Terror was being fought on the home front and paranoia was at a peak - no one was above suspicion. I had the idea to employ them in everyday scenarios – parodying the pervasive hysteria of the time.

We associate hooded masks with violence or intimidation – the same way society views Barrie’s disfigured veneer. Beneath the balaclava could breathe a terrorist or freedom fighter, foe or amigo.

Barrie is a luchador who can’t jump the ring and hide in the audience. Lucha Libre Barrie puts on a brave face - his resilience gives diamonds the rub.

Touch – the Barrier is still up.