sometimes a mirror: the fog of breath

About the Cameron Jamie show at the Gladstone in Brussels

Jamie is presenting what the enterprise is terming a “rogues’ gallery of ceramic masks.” Some are faced away from the viewer, a signature move that the artist seems to use to invite viewers to venture into the alternate states that he conjures, or simply to embody the hidden ones that he recognizes in us all.

[…] Jamie has been experimenting with hanging his ceramic masks toward the wall, subverting expectations by negating a clear frontal view. While the traditional function of the mask is to disguise the identity of its wearer for the purposes of ritual, these backwards masks instead expose what is usually hidden. They allow the viewer to psychically inhabit the disguise, taking on a potentially new persona or soul for the self. Revealing the mask’s interior structure not only confounds the viewers’ initial expectations, but also refocuses their attention from external appearances toward a more enigmatic interiority, essentially functioning as a metonym for every individual’s psychological malleability. In his prolonged exploration of the mask’s form and function, Jamie elucidates how persona and performance are not only slippery constructs of social factors, but also aesthetic postures of being.

As I read and transcribe this stuff about psychological malleability and aesthetic postures of being, I am listening to Max Richter’s “The Trees” — transported by the music and the opening voice over read by Tilda Swinton …

When Thomas brought the news that the house I was born in no longer exists – neither the name, nor the park sloping to the river, nothing – I had a dream of return. Multicoloured. Joyous. I was able to fly. And the trees were even higher than in childhood, because they had been growing during all the years since they had been cut down.

Not caring which side of the mask is presented to me… ready to find interiority in any moment, I find that the mask also affords an outwardness — there is a mouthpiece. Sound passes. Masks help us fly.

Which reminds me that in narratology there is a concept of focalization wherein who speaks is distinguished from who sees.

I offer here an appropriated portal — from a being looked at to a looking out — or just an excuse to bring attention to this image/mask where aesthetic postures of being are complicated. From the work of graphic novelist Mœbius

Moebius - Le Garage Hermétique - cover

Le Garage Hermétique

And so for day 2685

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