Monday, October 27, 2014
Masks are going to be my Diploma theme and as such masks will keep me busy for years I think. I have been mulling over this theme since the end of Module 5 and throughout Module 6, I don’t exactly rembember how it started but the idea never left me since.
Perhaps I was thinking about my surname, Maschera, which is a funny and rare Italian name meaning “mask”. I made some research about its origins but they are unclear. Also I am fascinated by what it seems the universal use of masks among very different peoples and historical ages in religion, funerary ceremonies, theatre, popular events all over the world. The mask is also a very strong psychological symbol of disguised or reinforced identity and it bears powerful associations with concepts like tattoos, makeup, face lift surgery. In fact I have the feeling that this theme might stay with me forever. And of course I am thinking also of my own “layers” as a person.
In the photo above I have collected some of the items and the images I have found, and already the “heap” as Sian says is a tall one and will keep growing in time. I took a large Evolon sheet (a square of 90 per 90 cms) to jot down some first ideas in a spider diagram (I used Evolon instead of paper since this sheet will have be around for a while). There are four main thought directions for masks in this cluster: ethnic and ritual masks are linked in red, theatre use of masks in green, artists who worked with masks in orange and psychological connections in violet. Not all these directions will be delved into or even considered, but I believe it may be useful to have a sort of map to help me find my way around.
Let’s make a start!
A general view of spider diagram (90 x 90 cms)
The psycho route
The ethnic, religious development
The performance side
Some artists working with masks