Mask as an actor
This paper proposes a performative analysis of a mask in order to research its agency, an active role in initiating world events. I will study four, in my opinion, basic “doings” of the mask: transformation, inspiration, transmission, and relocation. I am going to look at ancient masks as well as at Japanese, African and Asiatic ones. Of course, in a short paper the complete discussion of so complex subject matter is impossible. So, I will refer to selected case studies that most clearly expose the mask’s agency. I will use my own field research, my experience of directing plays and relevant scholarship — following a renown British social anthropologist Alfred Gell and archaeologist Ian Hodder.