Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Split Mask (Dress Rehearsal #2)


direct link: Split Mask Dress Rehearsal #2

I am looking for suggestions! Working towards a final version of this performance piece, any input is valuable.

This video is the result of a too-quick transformation of my small apartment for a rehearsal of Split Mask yesterday morning. The only lighting was through the windows. The black fabric did not stretch nearly far enough for the camera and I cropped and so on. My dress - I kept pulling it down (note to self: stop it). While the reading was a tad emotional, I found if I did a quieter reading that I couldn't remember the lines. When I allowed myself to perform with emotion, the lines came easily.

I think visually this take almost works, but...

Slit Mask, the performance piece, began with 'an inner image' of a split mask. I carried it for months in the Spring of 2013 and finally went to the art store to see what might work for a base. Was I delighted to find a paper mâché mask that was perfect as it was! I did the shredding and tearing at home and secured it with masking tape and cotton wading and later paper mâchéd it with a fairly heavy-weight wrapping tissue and white glue mixed with water- so it is very strong. I began working on the poem in the Summer of 2013 and finished it in the Summer of 2014. When I was preparing my POEMPAINTINGS show at Urban Gallery late in 2013, another 'inner image' that I had for a large canvas, the shock of gold on a diagonal, became realized in paint, graphite, ink and metal leaf. The mask became the central part of the painting. The whole composition, mask, poem and painting, were always meant to components of a performance piece.

An odd thing about this poem is that men, on the whole, do not like the political references, and I have noticed this reaction beginning with the first version in the Summer of 2013 through to this final draft, which I performed on open mic yesterday evening at Banoo Zan's 'Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night) XX.' It seems they would prefer to keep the woman in the mask performing a poem that fits their ideas of the mask (that I created) rather than the fissure it is for me. I don't find women mind the political aspect at all, and in fact, like the force of it. We don't always have 'to be beautiful' surely. Sometimes we can yell over terror and torture. The world is a difficult place and our hearts are so often torn for those who are living through nightmares of violence and war.