Discover what’s behind the mask
Unmasked is a format of reflection on the questions raised by MAKE ME UP BEFORE WE BLOW BLOW. What does it mean to become someone else? What does it mean to pretend ? Can mask and costume be a strategy to bridge the sacred and the secular? What happens to personas and masked identities in the course of time? What is the impact of the mask in political protest? What other possibilities, realities and concepts can make up make over?
A relaxed format of discussion invites us to enter the notion of masquerade as social strategy to deal with today’s norms and restraints. As part of the program, the film To each his own mask by Ghent-based artist Tine Guns is presented. It mixes images of both traditional masked ceremonies and political protest.
Masks and costumes are powerful means of fictionalisation that have enabled artistic and ritualistic engagement with the world since ancient times. We want to look at what masking and disguise can mean right now, during the seemingly apocalyptic, vast horribleness of the current political environment, in the US in particular. What does it mean to pretend in this era of ‘fake news’?
So the question arises: does this current wave of protests serve as an illusion of carnival? Do they actually affirm the established power structures? Do they make us forget? What if we look beyond the fun face of carnival? Can we use carnival to reach a real revolution? Wasn’t the purpose of the ancient carnival ritual to remember, to look winter demons in the eyes and transform to spring?
‘To Each His Own Mask’ is an artistic documentary and an audiovisual trip by filmmaker and visual artist Tine Guns. She investigates contemporary protest culture by looking at different carnival rituals and their use of masks.