Thursday, 27 December 2012

nemo - the clairvoyant astrologer: you must believe him, he looks like Rasputin

Invented by Charles Leicht, created by Creston Industries, 1969
 "This is not a game, but you can play it. It is not a toy, but you can use it. It's based on scientific astrological forces - The Sun. The Moon. The Star. The Planets. And it can affect your life. There are times you can succeed at anything you do. And there are times you can't succeed at anything you do. These times are said to be influenced by your Zodiac "sign". And in some mysterious cosmic way, NEMO can tell you when these times are. Ask a specific question, and HE will always give you the specific answer. It's almost too revealing and too truthful to play."

If you had all the postwar astrology/prediction-based games, would that mean you could have a battle of the clairvoyants and a face-off between the Amazing Magic Robot and the the Magic Eightball? That's what we need to ask Nemo.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Sunday, 23 December 2012

re-record, not fade away: the stone tape

If there was a stone circle of 1970s British TV dramas in which modern technology came up against ancient forces, then Nigel Kneale's The Stone Tape, which finally comes out on DVD next month, would be the big monolith at the circle's centre. It led the way for Children Of The Stones, Changes and The Omega Factor, but as a horror where the chills were all the more unsettling for being based in science The Stone Tape stands apart.

Nigel Kneale had made his name in the 1950s with the pioneering BBC sci-fi gripper of Quatermass in its serial incarnation, so it should have been no surprise that his contribution to the BBC's annual Christmas ghost story in 1972 was nothing like a standard ghost story. An electronics research group, led by a bombastic Napoleon in a safari suit (Michael Bryant) in the twilight of an affair with his computer genius prodigy (Jane Asher) move in to a derelict house, Taskerlands, and discover by the chance the potential for a new recording medium in the haunted stonework of the basement. There is a ghost in The Stone Tape, a Victorian undermaid, but she's just the bait. The hook is the story of the primal forces within the stone that can't be contained, either literally by being recorded (on tape), or in power, and the havoc unleashed as the scientists try to harness those forces so that they can outdo the Japanese and, of all things, a rival firm out to build the first electronic washing machine.

There are plenty of disturbing resonances to enjoy here, from the eerie green-on-black oscilloscope signals that dominate the opening titles to Jane Asher's petrified expressions, the series of trapdoors to the narrative that burrows into ever-more abstract and arcane territory, the mixture of Victorian gothic and modernist sci-fi that's amplified by the set designs and sound effects (BBC Radiophonic Workshop working overtime again), and the undercurrent of ideas about modern capitalism, gender relations and even the definition of ghosts. For more on those, see Breakfast In The Ruins or the anthology extract from The Twilight Language Of Nigel Kneale by Dave Simpson at The Paris Review

The real power of The Stone Tape though, is in its unseating of expectations and stereotypes. The unseen forces can't be called definitively malign, despite events, the scientists are not so obviously the bad guys or good guys, and the story, though dominated by men, is fuelled in every sense by the sole female character, as much by her intelligence and resolve as by her dissolving nerves and terror. It's like a code within a code within a code, The Stone Tape, a Russian doll as a computer programme, endlessly unravelling.

echoes : octavio paz

late autumn hipstamatic Hampstead Heath trees

Between Going And Coming

Between going and staying

the day wavers,

in love with its own transparency.

The circular afternoon is now a bay

where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,

all is near and can’t be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
 the same unchanging syllable of blood. 

The light turns the indifferent wall
 into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless, 

I stay and go: I am a pause. 

Octavio Paz was a Mexican writer whose influences included surrealism and Aztec mythology. See the 1991 interview in The Paris Review for more about his ideas and amazing life, or read his epic poem based around the Aztec Calendar Stone, Sun Stone.

Friday, 21 December 2012

it's (not) the end of the world and (really) we feel fine

Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine: Dark White
Brooding atmospheric drama for the dark clouds swirling in, then Sean Bonniwell's voice fractures like a hall of mirrors and there's no way back.

The Velvet Underground: European Son
We were just grooving along and then the toilet flushed, the mirror smashed and it all just went crazy. 

Opal: Magick Power
Let's stop the apocalypse with some occult intoning and paisley underground droning.

Pink Floyd: Lucifer Sam
Listen, if we really do have to dance with the devil and Behemoth the cat tonight, let's get Jennifer Gentle the witch along to the party. 

The Outsiders: CQ
"Could I speak to your leader, please?" Maybe some reverby late 60s Dutch psychonauts and the Martians can save us? 

The Monks: I Hate You
Now's the time to tell everyone how you really feel about them. Also useful if you can't decide on a song by the Fall. 

Love: The Red Telephone
"Sitting on a hillside, watching all the people die ... " C'mon everybody, it's sing-along time.

Tall Dwarfs: Nothing's Going To Happen
But really, nothing's going to happen, so just play what you like.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

dessi terzieva's cut and paste reality

Valentina From The Bronx
A Mask Tells More Than A Face
Disappearing Act

Dessi Terzieva is a 20-something Bulgarian artist currently based in Detroit, Michigan whose collages (much-favourited on flickr and most recently seen on 50 Watts) mix wry and political disorderings of time, space and identity. Photomontage's history, from dadaist anarchy to pop art consumerist commentary and 80s post punk eco and feminist politics all play their part here, but Terzieva has a distinctive, direct, wonderfully smart stamp. We hope for a book, or at least a series of postcards. Soon.

scooby-doo van for sale - one stoned owner

Just three days left to bid on eBay for this "original" Scooby-Doo van (it was used in a 2009 TV film shot in Vancouver, and it's also for sale on Craigslist). Yes, you too can ruin the ghostly/monster legend of any small town by unmasking the true culprit, "Mr ______ ?!?!?", who would've got away with it too if it hadn't been for those pesky meddling kids (and dog, let's not forget the dog). No doubt the back of the van has that distinctive Shaggy smell of aromatic herbs, and an 8-track, as well as Velma's secret stash of wigs (that was a wig she was wearing, right?). But will the true horror be a mandatory adoption of Scrappy-Doo to seal the van deal? Yikes!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

60s zodiac meets italian design

A pre-Christmas reminder (or just some pretty pictures to enjoy) of the vintage zodiac prints available on Etsy from Simboli Design.

rip sir patrick moore

I've no idea what was going on in this picture (secret warlock?), but it seems a pretty apt tribute to the astronomer who showed us the magic of the stars. 

silent snow, secret snow - "the snow was laughing: it spoke from all sides at once"

Conrad Aiken's Silent Snow, Secret Snow is a school study classic of American fantasy fiction, but less-known outside the States. Originally published in 1932, Conrad Aiken used some of Edgar Allan Poe's style to tell of 12-year-old Paul's withdrawal into an imaginary world of snow, repeating and alliterating words like a poem on a carousel. Gene Kearney's almost forgotten short 1966 film is a beautifully simple black and white version that captures the gradual unravelling of reality as Paul descends into mental illness in a mixture of images of trees, snow and scenes of the boy's world at home and school.

The flute and violin-driven soundtrack starts gently. So too does Paul's daydream, a daydream that he can't even remember the onset of, of waking to the postman's footsteps crunching through deep snow outside. It's apparently harmless. "It was as if, in some delightful way, his secret gave him a fortress, a wall behind which he could retreat into heavenly seclusion." When Paul looks outside his bedroom window, there's no snow.

But the daily daydream becomes something more as the days progress, and the soundtrack more insistent, more ominous along with it. Paul's love of the snow moves from the outside to within him. It becomes an obsession. He can't think of anything else, or focus on what anyone is saying to him, or even on the everyday tasks of daily life. His schoolteacher notices, his parents notice, the doctor is called in.

Paul's fortress becomes something to be guarded, and the snow becomes a sentient presence, a voice that tells him to push away the others, that beckons to him. "Listen Paul, listen, we have come to tell you the story we told you about. In this white darkness, we will take the place of everything." And then it does, and Paul turns inward, away from the world, and his face blurs into whiteness.

See also the 1971 TV version in Rod Serling's Night Gallery, with narration by Orson Welles, and Conrad Aiken's original story.

Friday, 16 November 2012

the man who haunted himself - léon spilliaert

Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946) was a self-taught painter influenced by symbolism who also anticipated several later art movements. What makes him stand apart though is the visionary shock of his paintings, a singular timeless gaze. Whether in the early works, including the self-portraits in which as Dylan Trigg writes, Spilliaert seems to encounter his own ghost that has come too soon, or in the later nature works dominated by trees, there's a feeling of reality dissolving before your eyes. After looking at them the most ordinary of scenes - a bus on a street, a fork on a plate, a staircase - look as if they could be transformed by him, even now, into introspective expressions of both intense Flemish melancholy and hallucinogenic modernist bedazzlement.

trollmaster - theodor kittelsen

Illustrations by Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914)
I like trolls. But the giant ones, not the small ones. They look scary, but really they're not. In Norwegian folklore they are the shy, reclusive dwellers of the forest who only come out at night. If they forget their true nature and come out by day, then they turn to rock, and that is why there are large rocks with troll-like features, apparently.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

king of the castle

King Of The Castle, which was first shown in 1977, is a frustrating watch for even the most obsessed 70s children's TV fan – a must-see but also must fast-forward through. That's if you can find the whole series, which is more elusive than half the episodes of Ready Steady Go. The story: Roland, an overweight choir boy, escapes the bullies in his tower block by jumping into a broken lift, which then plummets into a warped world below that can only be escaped from by solving clues and finding keys. It's a journey as much of self-discovery as of finding the way back home, as Roland deals with characters strangely familiar from the world above. Pitched somewhere between Susan Hill's I'm The King Of The Castle and Franz Kafka's The Castle, it's got plenty of oddness going for it. There's the literary references you'd never expect in a mainstream children's drama (Beckett, Ballard, Pinter). There's a bold embracing of the council estate reality of the times (and the urban postwar dream gone sour) while its supernatural 70s TV peers explored rural myths, megaliths and, well, owls. There's some amazing visual images (pictured), by turns expressionist and surreal. There's Fulton McKay. But ... it is slow and a little clunky. Just a warning. Best enjoyed with the incredibly detailed appreciation at Sparks In Electrical Jelly.

uncanny spaces – horrorgami

The kirigami horror houses of Marc Hagan-Guirey, otherwise known as Paper Dandy, have gone viral over the past few days, even prompting a BBC news video. It's not a surprise, given that his tributes to 13 famous houses of horror films – including The Shining, The Amityville Horror, The Addams Family and Beetlejuice – are a singular vision of spookiness, each carefully cut from single sheets of paper, then presented as silhouettes in lightboxes. Traditionally, the haunted house upends our ideas of livable spaces, upsetting our ideas of home as a place of safety and comfort and, certainly in cinema, they upset our sense of perspective, both psychological and literal. Here, those ideas are magnified by presenting the haunted house in an unnatural three-dimensional form, and then shrunk. Although small and fragile enough to crush in one hand, they have, like their cinematic reflections, driven out the inhabitants. Here also, the lit-up houses are not even haunted by a presence; it is the houses themselves that haunt us, luring us into the nightmare of being trapped in the demonic dolls house. They're so cute, it's terrifying.

Horrorgami, Gallery One And A Half, 1 1/2 Ardleigh Road, London, N1, 1-14 Nov

echoes - hp lovecraft

"Pleasure to me is wonder – the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty."

HP Lovecraft: The Defence Remains Open!, 1921

the innocents

(via ass-acid tumblr)
What shall I sing to my lord from my window?
What shall I sing for my lord will not stay?
What shall I sing for my lord will not listen?
Where shall I go when my lord is away?
Whom shall I love when the moon is arisen?
Gone is my lord and the grave is his prison.
What shall I say when my lord comes a calling?
What shall I say when he knocks on my door?
What shall I say when his feet enter softly?
Leaving the marks of his grave on my floor.
Enter my lord. Come from your prison.
Come from your grave, for the moon is a risen.
Welcome, my lord.

The Innocents, 1961, directed by Jack Clayton

Suspense, dread, phantoms, madness, repression... possession. Just as Henry James' Turn Of The Screw is, really, far scarier than Dracula in its hold on the imagination, so too the 1961 film version quietly digs deep into the psyche in a way unlike many other more obvious horrors, entwining like creeping ivy. Deborah Kerr's increasingly terrified wide-eyed expressions combine with ominous shots of some darkness just out of sight, seen as much in the frequency of shots of the children from behind as in candlelight trembling down long lonely corridors or the curtains of open windows shivering in the wind. This is the genuinely unsettling feeling of indefinable evil, made all the more so by an atmospheric soundtrack dominated by sinister effects and music. Cottage Of Electric Hell collated these sounds into a continuous piece, which is well worth hearing in its own right. In the dark, of course. It goes well with late night bumps in the night. Oh, we do love to be scared.

just another halloween playlist

There's a lot of playlists for Halloween. Even one from Ghost Box. So here's another one,  60s garage and psych.

First up, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown: Fire. When I was 17 a bunch of us went back to a friend's after a night out and someone put this track on. Then they switched on the TV, and there was a fire happening, on screen. Spooky.

Troyka: Burning Of The Witch - Downhome late 60s Canadian rock, with oddly unnatural baritone gloominess.

Open Mind: Magic Potion - A modern freakbeat dancefloor smash. 

The Attack: Magic In The Air - Unreleased 45 by the fantastically-bouffanted Londoners best known for Created By Clive. 

Christine Pilzer: Dracula - Swinging French mademoiselle racks up the enticing suspense. Everybody now, scream "Yeye!". 

Lollipop Shoppe: You Must Be A Witch - Guaranteed hard garage punk nuggetty goodness from 1968. Yeh, he don't need her loving (insert squawling guitar break here). 

Janie Jones: Witch In White - Saucy madame, literally, who first made old folk go "I say!" when she appeared topless at the London premiere of London In The Raw in 1964. 

Cindy Und Bert: Der Hund Von Baskerville - Black Sabbath's Paranoid, except in German, and by a lovely late 60s duo. 

The Lords: Death Bells At Dawn - Dark guitars (and squealing keyboard trills) ring out across the New Jersey night in 1966. 

Loose Enz: Black Door - Take the subway to the end of your mind (and don some Jim Morrison trousers) for this moody Pennsylvania 1968 tale of occult goings-on. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

find your way in the mizmaze

The Mizmaze, nr Breamore, Hampshire

mirror magic

Medieval woodcutting: "Frailty, thy name is woman"
Mirrors and magic are always entwined like light and dark - here's the double, the bad luck of the mirror cracked, the misty myths of Medusa or Narcissus, fairytales and horror vampires, the devil of vanity, the Sun King's Hall of Mirrors at Versailles or a million fairgrounds and the distorted projection that's never quite reality as we know it. See also Sabine Melchoir-Bonnet's The Mirror: A History.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

kai fagerström - the house in the woods

Finnish photographer Kai Fagerström captured a fractured fairytale in his photos of a house being reclaimed, not only by nature but also by the local wildlife. The resulting book, The House In The Woods, has lots more of this (thanks Jonathan Kilgour for the heads up).

Thursday, 25 October 2012

mandrake man

A modern charm, made from mandrake root, to bring the owner good luck.

scorpio the demon - "the dark centre of the cosmos"

Scorpio, Chartres Cathedral, France
"Leo, which is ruled by the Sun, is often placed on the facade of a cathedral so that it is the first of the Evangelists' symbols to receive sunlight in the course of the day. Scorpio, connected with hell and the dark centre of the cosmos (according to the medieval view of the world), is correspondingly placed so that it it is the last to receive the light."

Symbols In The Sky - The Unexplained File: Cult & Occult

rod serling's night gallery

From the endlessly imaginative head of Rod Serling, Night Gallery was the early 70s follow up to the mammoth success of The Twilight Zone TV series. Both inhabited similar territory – anthologies of stories from the other side that included fractured morality fables, surreal sci-fi, dream-like mysteries, macabre fantasy twists – but the Night Gallery had a dose more horror suited to those occult-obsessed times. It also had a dose of fantastic guest stars, not least among them Vincent Price, Roddy McDowall, Joan Crawford and Elsa Lanchester, with a bonus helping of John Astin, who popped up in several episodes. The moreishness of the series lay as much though in the variety of the narratives, which could reach the height of literary adaptation (Conrad Aiken's Silent Snow, Secret Snow) or plummet to the delightfully gory depths of sheer pulp (Adam West on how to mix a martini in With Apologies To Mr Hyde). You really never knew what the next canvas would reveal in Serling's gallery of the bizarre. For those whose whistle has been whetted, Rod Serling's Night Gallery has more about the episodes, show and the accompanying book.

where it starts: the usborne book of ghosts

I got this book for my birthday from my friend in the next garden, Rosina - when I was 8 years old. I liked the ghost photos the best. Was that monk beside the church organ really spectral or was it faked? I didn't care. I wish I still had it. There was an abandoned mansion high up on the hill behind our primary school playground where boys from the neighbouring school sniffed glue. I told younger kids they should watch out for a dead woman appearing at one of the upstairs windows. I persuaded several kids to go with me on a Red Hand Gang-like night-time exploration of the house. Luckily, it never happened. I loved Misty, the horror comic for girls. My dad banned it from the house on first sight. When I was 10 I borrowed The Ghost Hunter's Handbook from the school library. I gave it back a year later. Reluctantly. Around that time I watched zombie movies with my older brother and his student friends in his room. We laughed. His friends didn't. I still like the bit at the end of Zoltan: Hound Of Dracula where the little puppies come out of the grave with demonic eyes. At least, that's the way I remember it. I geeked out to Poltergeist ("you moved the headstones but you didn't move the graves?!?!") - and the MAD magazine parody of it. I wanted Gomez and Morticia to adopt me, but I wasn't into the Wednesday look. You want to know when this all started? It started young.

More about Usborne's World Of The Unknown: All About Ghosts at The Haunted Closet

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Monday, 22 October 2012

grisly guides : the new york grimpendium

Rolling Hills Asylum, East Bethany, via JW Ocker's OTIS: Odd Things I've Seen
Death - and the boundaries of the five boroughs - holds no terrors for JW Ocker, who follows up his New England Grimpendium with The New York Grimpendium: A Guide To Macabre And Ghastly Sites In New York State. Can we say he knows where the bodies are buried? Oh, go on, lets have some fun with this, because Ocker always does. Here's the dirt on ghoulish sites and stories, both sung and unsung, delivered in thoroughly researched but wry style for the couch-potato and real traveller alike. Revel in the abandoned asylums (pictured), murder sites, film locations (yes, Ghostbusters does feature) and tales of monsters in lakes, Sleepy Hollow, shrunken heads or Rod Serling - if you dare.

Friday, 19 October 2012

echoes : gaston bachelard - the poetics of reverie

"... the repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows ..."

In chapter two of Gaston Bachelard's
The Poetics Of Reverie - Childhood, Language And The Cosmos (1960

60s advertising - "bewitch him by day, make him mad for you under the moon"

Scanned from a 60s magazine, reminded to post by seeing The Pie Shops tumblr (thanks!)

chills and fever - eyes without a face

Eyes Without A Face (via flavorpill - 50 essential horror films)

I can't believe I forgot about this film. The gruesome surgery scene is the most famous and shocking part of Eyes Without A Face, Georges Franju's 1959 French horror, but this image of the moving eyes trapped behind a blank mask is the one that'll haunt your reveries. Beyond sensationalism and B-movie good and evil polarities, it's the complexities of identity and desire that make the film so unsettling, summed up here in that look.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

a fortean halloween - the ghoulish spirit of london

The spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, according to his widow (via Nationaal Archief)
Mark Pilkington of Strange Attractor, John Constable of Crossbones Graveyard and the academic and author Roger Luckhurst are among the speakers at the London Fortean Society's London Ghosts Conference on 27 Oct. Capital tales (plus a couple of short films) for Halloween of mystery, horror and the occult, including cinematic vampires, haunted hospitals and the Enfield poltergeist.

the alternative Victorian reality of travis louie

Above, via Circus Posterus, from Spirits, the most recent exhibition of the finely-detailed and vintage photo-like otherworldly visions of Travis Louie, at Stranger Factory, Albuquerque.

1910 Frankenstein and the post-industrial soundtrack

Daniel Tuttle (Life Toward Twilight) gives electronic life to the 1910 Edison Studios version of Frankenstein in his 2008 soundtrack, adding unsettling, fractured atmospherics – even more sense of the un-natural at play – in a mixture of sparse piano, post-industrial drones, and dark ambient shadows and crashes.

Edison's Frankenstein with Life Toward Twilight - part one (part two here)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

carrie - then and now

In 1976, Carrie is "the girl no one likes", the freak who lives with her "crazy mother" and wreaks havoc on the prom with her telekenesis when the bullying goes too far. 

In 2013, Carrie is not "a monster, she was just a girl", her mother is "a fanatic" and mention of conspiracy comes before the supernatural. 

Except that Kimberly Peirce's new film is not a remake of Brian De Palma's sensationalist horror. Instead, it skips back to Stephen King's original apocalyptic 1974 book, the story of which ended with Carrie's rampage killing more than 400 townsfolk, telekenesis being taken seriously by the masses and a nationwide crackdown on bullying. So 70s, so, possibly, 2012.

The pig's blood is still in full-effect though, don't worry.

Friday, 12 October 2012

halloween is coming ... and so is the great pumpkin

photo by riptheskull
I haven't forgotten about Halloween, and don't tell me The Great Pumpkin doesn't exist.

echoes : sylvie germain - prague noir: the weeping woman on the streets of prague

Photo via Elspeth Owen's Weeping Woman artwork
"That day, in the opalescent mist, all the passers-by looked like ghosts who had mislaid their fleshly bodies."

"... she was an unfinished being ... A being endlessly on the verge of entering life, and endlessly on the verge of leaving it."

"The weeping woman limps endlessly between two worlds: the visible and the invisible, the present and the past, the living and the present."

Excerpts from Sylvie Germain's Prague Noir: The Weeping Woman On The Streets Of Prague, a prose-poetry evocation of a mythical giantess who protects the city, gathering the tears of the living and the dead and bringing memories to life before tucking them back into the folds of her skirts.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

derek jarman - a journey to avebury

A nod again to Derek Jarman's 1971 16mm film A Journey To Avebury, which ideally should be on permanent loop in some cupboard in your head, Coil's 1990s soundtrack adding a pulsing intensity to the atmosphere of a landscape where the accumulated past is present. More on Derek Jarman's film, his fascination with the Elizabethan magician John Dee, and why Jarman preferred Marcel Duchamp's alchemy to Aleister Crowley's black magic in a Tate gallery essay from 2009 about Magic And Modernity In British Art.

word magic

1950s anthology of poems for schools via the absorbing Stopping Off Place blog of finds.

the addams family - cousin it dries his hairdo

The Addams Family 60s View-Master reel

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

philippe halsman - visage superposé 1967

via Regard Intemporel
Philippe Halsman was born in Latvia in 1906, imprisoned for patricide in 1928 after a hiking trip where his father died in an accident that was said to look suspicious, and told to leave the country, never to return, when he was released four years later. Moving to France he made his name working as a photographer for Vogue, then fled to America after the Nazi invasion, where he continued working for Vogue, becoming a photographer of celebrities such as Pablo Picasso and Einstein. Halsman also collaborated with Salvador Dalí (including the famous photograph of those cats flying through the air), and published a book of photographs of people jumping, attaching the wry philosophy of "jumpology". His story adds several layers to this photo, but the spectrality of it is mesmerising enough.

guatemala, masks, identity and the uncanny

Guatemalan masks from Masks Of The World: (left to right) Spanish general Pedro Alvarado -
Dance Of The Conquest, monkey - Deer Dance, Maximon (San Simon), Ajiz the shaman
Animate and inanimate at the same time, living and dead, fascinating and sometimes fear-evoking, the mask comes to life as humans put it on and breath spirit into it. The wearer can be identified with the mask and yet hides behind it, is known by their mask and yet escapes into fantasy and away from conventional identities, creates a false guise and yet reveals many guises, protects themselves from others but also from their real self, transforms, is changed and enacts change through the rites associated with the mask.

"Like the uncanny, it is familiar and unfamiliar simultaneously. The mask stands in an intermediary position between different worlds. Its embodiment of the fragile dividing line between concealment and revelation, truth and artifice, natural and supernatural, life and death is a potent source of the mask's metaphysical power."

Efrat Tseëlon: Masquerade And Identitities: Essays On Gender, Sexuality And Marginality

photo by fiat luxe