I’m supposed to be submitting a quickie thing for a catalogue of the thesis projects for the mfa program i’m a ta at. We found ourselve 10 words that had some combined relevance to a number of pieces one/two of which were mask/illusion (each word or set of words was given to an affiliated faculty member to write 100-150 words on). So this is my really pretentious, wordy shot at it…. I’d welcome any feedback – especially constructive – before I submit it, and it’s the only really tangible thing I have from this summer to share up here.
The mask is a powerful tool, ancient and contemporary – a site of obfuscation and revelation, a site of illusion and truth. Its power emerges from the potential for multiple identities where the binaries of real and unreal, true and false, mingle, disintegrate, explode. After the deconstruction of absolute realities, histories and identities where does truth remain except within layers of illusion and masks? The (animist, death, comedic, criminal, surgical, eye, emotional, Halloween, oxygen, ancestral, gas, diving) mask affirms that there must be a reality behind or within, whether the mask serves to hide an identity, construct an identity, or represent the identity, the individual within animates the illusion with desires: for anonymity, divinity, beauty, power, submission, grandeur, silence. The illusion in its dynamic negotiation of what appears to be and what is, creates a charged space for both wearer and viewer from which the sublime may emerge.
I am going to be showing a work in progress on Saturday I think so hopefully someone will take pictures or video of that so I can share with you all. It’s loosely based on TS Elliot’s Burnt Norton, a Virginia Woolf quote “When this you see remember me”, the word ‘saudade’ and, generally, grief, with a score of Radiohead’s ‘Talkshow host’, Anima, Vinicius de Moraes ‘Samba em preludio’ and Gorrilaz ‘Starshine’ – just to add to the pretentiousness of this post.
Should be back in New York by the 29th – if anyone on this blog is there.
ps: a shot i took of an mfa-er’s thesis production, a wonderfully bit crazy woman Jimena Paz. She hung gold space blankets around the space and grow lights and ‘planted’ monitors in trays of dirt. Oh and dressed up in flourscent pink/orange jacket pants and boxing gloves to dance around.