This EU INTERREG IV-funded project, led by Professor Bernard Devauchelle (Institut Faire Faces) and Professor David Houston Jones (University of Exeter) takes the experience of the facially injured soldiers of the First World War as the starting-point for an enquiry into disfigurement in the broadest sense, arguing that facial injuries in 1914–18 led to both unprecedented innovations in the surgical field and to permanently changed understandings of the face.
Just as artistic practice fed into surgical practice (in the work of sculptors as mask-makers or epithesists), so the radically new forms of surgery developed at this time changed the context in which artists represented the face. Looking at art-works and historical objects from the early twentieth century to the present day, we consider both the unique historical situation of facially injured soldiers in World War One, including the complex question of their social (re)integration, and the long-term cultural legacy of that situation.
Read the project blog to keep up to date with the latest developments.
The project 1914FACES2014 was selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF.