Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
This is a form of branding and stereotyping that is being created by mass media.
Masks fuse into our personalities. We have dealt with the concept that parents or people who bring us up, impose structures on us that in time, turn to become restrictions that inhibit growth. Our own masks turn against us.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Create a 45-90 second video of your hands performing a commentary on gender.
Post with 2 or 3 labels:
- Your name
- Your partners name (if applicable)
- Performing Hands
Creative inspiration below:
More hand ads
“A mask is an article normally worn on the face, typically for protection, concealment, performance or amusement” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mask) . As a metaphor nowadays, masks are pit occasionally by a person to hide it’s real self, which can also be to elate his/her stature in the society. Males putting on the mask of a tough guy is one such example where he thinks his inner feeling cannot be accessed cause of this mask that he is wearing which then gets suppressed down.
Masks can sometimes also be useful, e.g. a person has to go for a job interview, or cheering for your friend even he’s playing well are good examples.
Masks in a person's life is inevitable, and are neither wrong to have, it just depends to the way the masks are being used.
Masks are personalities that are put on or imposed by others.
A mask is neither good or bad, it could protect or hide, its needed to adjust to situations or to a social construct or on the other hand masks may become heavy and irritating.
That said masks are so very broadly categorized they are very difficult to differentiate between oneself and mask. Often the effect of the mask on a person becomes so great the mask has the danger of becoming fused and irremovable.
The only time one may become aware of a mask is through embarrassment or if the mask cracks or breaks or if the mask becomes heavy or uncomfortable
Some questions that I thought of were
Can one exist without masks?
Is "self" just another mask?
Wearing masks or putting on a fake identity for any situation was like being fearful and scared of being your true self and hated myself for doing it every time I would bear another more socially accepted front .but after having a very enriching discussion which we had ,it make me look at things in a broader perspective and look deeper in the subject and realized that wearing a mask according to situations and people just because of the most innate need to be accepted and belong in a group is something not appalling ,but is necessary .and thus we shouldn’t be ashamed about putting diverse faces . We should get scared when the masks we wear so often gets amalgamated into us, gets undetectable and takes over our will, choice, and life. And it is then that we can’t break through and have the free will we can afford to have in society. And it is then we are caught in a conflict and which leads us to question ourselves : “WHO AM I ?”
And as we looked deeper into the matter, I was really thrown balance as at that point world just looked like a stage, and identity or personality masks just looked like clothes we change according to fashion or spaces. And my insight became empowered which I had built through the previous courses and reflection which was that what we conceitingly declare to be our own identity is nothing more than the reflection of what society teachings build on us through our upbringing and thus we cannot call that our true identity .
But this really hit and upset me as this was something I Have never wanted to accept and every day my choices and experiences make me more aware of the existent of this in our society. Yet something that made me doubt this a little and gave me a diminutive hope as not knowing your true self or going through identity crisis is almost frightening and intimidating was that it is our identity that makes us prefer among the many masks which are accepted in the society and thus after all we do have minuscule amount of mind of our own and choices which is not completely depended on the society .
I believe in order for society to run or humans to survive, we need to put on masks. Masks need not always mean deception or lies, sometimes it maybe for the better. If masking a few emotions of a being is doing him and the people around him good, I don’t think anything’s wrong with that.
But inspite of all this, an individual should be aware of his true self.
I always thought I was aware of the masks that I have been putting on to deal with people. But it was only recently that I became aware of the bigger mask that i was putting on against myself. I never saw myself as an emotional person. I always would smile away if I ever were to face problems. But now i’ve realised that beneath that happy face I had bottled up a lot of emotions. I had just not given it a chance to express. Some were emotions of violent anger, while some of regret of not being able to express myself when I had the chance.
Masks ....according to the definition ,a mask is just something to cover your face with mainly for protection ,amusement and performance ....but now these masks have become a part of us and our identities ..we consciously or unconsciously are wearing a mask at all times ..and all this becomes a perfect lie as all of us are wearing masks at all times ...as we are dealing with situations we change our masks to fit into that situation ..at the end that mask finally gets fused with your identity ...we all wear layers of masks over us and it just keeps getting thicker and thicker and we lose our identity in itself .....and embarrassment is the perfect moment when our mask cracks .....when one becomes a man of knowledge that's when one becomes free of these masks and dualistic identities ..
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
After hat long discussion about masks, I was thinking about this concept of mask whole day. Thinking on this topic, I thought that how many time we actually decide and wear our masks, most of the times it happens naturally. For example, we are completely different persons when we are with family and when we are with friends. However, at that time we don’t decide and shuffle that mask, it happens naturally. Therefore consciously thinking about how to behave, what to talk, what are our moral values is just going to make our life difficult. So let it come naturally to you and let it go with the flow. We are never the same person throughout our life, we change constantly with the change in our environment, to adjust in that environment we change our masks. And I personally don’t think there is anything wrong in it. it’s a part of our life.
A covering for all or part of the face, in particular is what my Mac’s dictionary defines it, quite clear there are many types of masks personally I like Japanese masks because I think they are more ambiguous and have deeper meanings associated to them. But recently I came across a mask of a different type that we permanently wear over our faces to have a face, which we want, to look something you are not, to be someone you are not. These masks are our emotions, our way of presenting ourselves basically in every situation. We wear masks permanently maybe to look different in front of others and have a different impression on them which u want. But if u wear them all the time then what is your true self? Then what are trying to be, relative to what? I don’t think we even realize that our true self is hidden underneath a mask. I think these masks are because of the influences that shaped us. Maybe we prefer wearing these masks to hide our insecurities and our limitations. But I see no harm wearing them because that’s way this world works. In a way it also creates a sense of competition between people. So I think its kind of important.
Image center: The entire shadow mask
Image left: A stylized cock mask
Image right: A stylized fish mask
What are identities? Can masks that we wear consciously or sub-consciously be termed as a part of a person's identity? Are they extensions of the real 'you' or are they completely separate pieces of personalities that we wear according to situations?
Is it who we are or who we pretend to be or is an exaggeration of our true selves?
Our lives are masked by the faces that people want to see.
Masks during courtship and the ones in front of your family...
Experiences are endless so are the masks that we wear....
Rreak out from them?
Remember that your wearing one...and accept that it is a necessity in society
I don't know if I believe in a true self at all, there is far too much faith in an eventuality, in that. They're just a variation of who you were yesterday. I don't see them as binding, more as tools for adaption, that we bind ourselves to because sometimes,
its easier than changing.
It is interesting how the mask which was or is still used for amusement or cultural practices is also a part of every human’s identity. I always knew that a person would wear a mask of disguise at one point or the other to protect himself or hide his identity but I was never realised that at every moment an individual masks himself and there is very little time that anyone of us are unmasked or being our true self.
One of the reasons to be masked is I thought because we feel the need to be accepted. With every different group we play a different role which suits that group so that we are accepted and liked. It is interesting how we are constantly masking ourselves and in this practice I feel that we our losing our true self and it is very difficult to identify when we are not faking our identity as we are constantly layered with a variety of masks.
When we wear making the masks one thought that came to my mind was that we not only wear masks to hide identity or to be accepted but sometimes it has to be worn for the sake of others. There are many instances in my life where I feel that I have worn a mask not for myself but for others around me. I have tried to show that through the mask above where one side is constantly smiling and joking around while the inside which I still don’t know if it is my true self is struggling to keep the tears from coming out.
I always identified the word ‘masks’ with a pretentious image or display of a character by choice or force at a particular situation– Through our conversations at Vistaar it hit me, that as personalities who we are or tend to be is a constant projection of various masks/identities which we use to aspire, hide or create a certain image of - So who are we once this mask is off? Is there a even a real me? Are we aware of how or when this mask is worn and controlled? Is it an unconscious action which is repeated over and over again and becomes part of ones character?
Identity masks come from insecurities or projections of characters which one wishes to convince or prove to somebody. Is the fear of losing the mask the cause of its permanency in character projection which later unconsciously becomes part of your personality? The dilemma of wearing the mask and letting the mask control who you become or project is a powerful force in itself .
I feel a lot of times these masks come into play in my actions from simple moments where i try to be modest or even smoke a cigarette thinking i am in a 'Wong Kar Wai' film - The constant fight whether to wear the mask or not is what I find interesting, at times even though you may hate to project the mask - situations force you or compel you to give in and display what it commands - The irony is its still a part of you, controlled by you and given in by you - So who ever is on the receiving end is bound to analyse you or judge you on your actions.
The term mask is frequently used by me to refer to an act of deceit or a false identity. To see it as the selective portrayal of elements of one’s own personality and not as borrowed or acquired was a new perspective to explore. It is interesting how the function of the ancient masks-that of propagating mythological characters-is adapted in the contemporary masks of stereotypes which are in a way characters abstracted to their most pronounced traits speaking of popular discourse such as the cool teenager or the devoted wife.
With the many masks that we wear,is it possible to be aware of one’s real self? Maybe the awareness of holding the authority over one’s masks and not letting our masks become our masters is awareness of the self. I feel vulnerable to being unmasked when I am unsure of what lies behind it like my weaknesses, my insecurities or my secrets. I seek something like a password that only I have the knowledge to and which I feel compelled to remember so that the mask serves its temporariness. I fear that a mask that becomes permanent and leaves room for no other will slowly become the only self that I recognise even though it was something that I wished for others to see. No matter how varied the masks may be, to the wearer they all look the same on the underside and this is an acknowledgement of the starkness of the real self. Once we see ourselves for who we are, it may be possible to anchor one’s identity to something familiar, even when we have been unmasked or when the masks begin to crack.
Well, I was always aware of the faces (or rather masks from now) that I put on in front of different people, at different times, in different situations and for different reasons. However, I never realised that my masks are a reflection of what I am and what I am is a result of the masks I put on. And thus, perhaps I realise some of the masks that I chose to put on have fused with my identity as an individual and as a woman as well. Moreover, to me, the idea of masking always coincided with hypocrisy, deceit or cowardice. Never did it occur to me that, except after yesterday, that masks form an integral part of our process of becoming self aware.
Create a blog post with an image of:
- Your shadow mask, or
- An image from your Creative Process Journal that contains your reflections about your relationships with the masks you wear.
Word Limit 200 words/post.
Post with 2 labels:
- Your name
Sunday, October 24, 2010
For our reflective rant we tried experimenting with sand art. We explored the things which we like about being a guy and things that we don't. We used certain symbols as in an eagle to mean the fewer restrictions we face and an elephant to show physical strength.
The pride of having facial hair and the relief of not having menstrual pains. Lucky to not have labor pains yet jealous of not being able to give birth. The non-existence of a 'Guy's Night' and the fear of getting hit on the crotch. The embarassment of an uninvited erection and to end it all, premature ejaculation.
Please ignore the shabby editing and the vagueness of the video. It was an experimental venture and we are surprised that we actually completed it. :) Sorry about exceeding the time limit.
Gender is something which, is not inborn or biologically imbedded in us but is developed through time like our personality, and is constructed according to our experiences and our bringing up. All the selected things told to us is repeated till it is entrenched in us, That it is very tough to break through, even though our identity and experiences conflict to the taught views of the society .And it is those are the true heroes to overcome this conflict and show their real identities
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
In pairs, create a 45-90 second video with shadow imagery and a reflective rant narrative.
Post with 3 labels:
- Your name
- Your partners name
- Reflective Rant
Creative inspiration below:
Check out the powerful silhouette work of Kara Walker in the video below
Bubbles on an overhead projector
Sand Art on Projector
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
“Gender is a set of characteristics that are seen to distinguish between male and female.” is what I have been hearing till now. They are roles created by the society as being ‘appropriate; for that particular sex. Being young give you freedom from the separation or not minded, the same pool, changing clothes easily were some things that could be easily done. The time that I got distinguished was when I started taking separate showers. One of the most commonly spoken about would be when be the difference between the toy we buy, with the mean and mighty for the boys and the delicate and docile for the girls. Gender roles according to me is set by the society as “suiting her/him best” ,not what the individual develops on her/his own, but what they are meant to follow in order to fit in.
This shows my journey,in which i have got gendered and have paved a way for my sexuality and gender through out my life.
And looking back through my life it was really shocking to realize that as i grew up my restrictions and borders confided in ,giving me less space for my true identity and it was really weirdly funny to notice that my gender is influenced and impinted because of the fear of the society more than my own experience and experimentation .
Is your gender defined by how you look OR by how you feel?
I never felt there was any difference until I noticed instances like-
when going out somewhere:
guy: Bye I am going!
(over and out)
girl: Bye I am going!
--> Where are you going?
why do you need to go?
with whom are you going?
what time are you going to be back?
(still not over)
*phone calls* (every now and then)
And there are many things like these.
and if questioned by a girl... why only me? ... why don't you question him?
The answer is "he's a guy".
It was not until kindergarten that I had developed a gender identity for myself. Being the only child in a family, for a long time I didn’t really know any difference between boys and girls. I just had the idea that girls wear different clothes than boys and spoke a little differently. And that was it that was all I knew.But by kindergarten I realised we were different from girls in a lot many ways.
Separate rows for girls , separate toilets, different uniforms, in fact even small things like our names played a role; when our names were called out for attendance I realised that boys and girls had different names. I had a name which no other girl had, but again was shared by five other boys in my class (yes, almost all Indian parents decided to name their kids Abhishek in 1990-91).
And embarrassing as it may be, I have to admit of being called a ‘girl’....several times. Over the phone, in the playground, in class; you name it, but that didn’t really affect me much. But perhaps that explained me hanging out with girls more than boys, because that was the only time I felt more masculine.
I always felt like a boy and still do, don’t feel like a man yet. Just a boy.
There are a number of factors that have affected my gender one of them being my emotions. Culture, family background, and the society do play a very important role. Since childhood there were a number of things I was told not to do or to stay away from. As I grew older these borders also started growing and became more intense. Even though my parents believe that they treated both their kids equally, my brother who was younger to had more freedom to be outside till late, change in public, and not worry about what clothes he has worn which made me realise later that this indifference was because of my gender. However there were many instances that made me change my thinking and at times I even took chances of breaking these borders and exploring those spaces. Before I was a very shy and introvert person but after I got involved in sports I changed a lot as a person and people started calling me tomboy as I used to be in my tracks and shorts most of the times , played games with guys and had more guy friends. Also I became independent quite early in life and I used to travel alone and live alone which man felt was not a right thing to do as a female. But I was comfortable with myself being that way. I feel that my brain and heart is a healthy mix of a woman and a man but I still strongly feel like a woman emotionally, physically and mentally.
The most painful was when i was taken at the age of five to get holes pierced in my ears to poke small silver ornaments through so that i could be differentiated from boys.
The other was a chore when i was 'encouraged to start', though i regret discontinuing at this age. It was the classical dance classes i was asked to join.
I was also never allowed to travel by public transport during the day or night.
Whenever anyone would buy presents they always coincidently chose the colours pink, purple or other feminine colours. So my wadrobe or toy things were always colour co-ordinated.
During my school days when choosing subjects some were considered boy subjects - maths, economics, accounts whereas girls chose art subjects instead.
I found it interesting how i never really ended up thinking about how i derived my gender before?
Another observation is that as a man I am Expected to play an active role, in comparison to woman who are expected to play a passive role. I am in no way saying that I do not play an active role sexually or emotionally but this idea of showcasing it to others so that they feel sure around you is something i can't really get my head around. Throughout life I myself have been tutored to demand others of their surety of sexuality and probably it is something very difficult to get out of. But i am happy that such a thought has arisen for me to ponder over.
In my journal, I've asked myself questions, written down dialogues I've grown up having and then tried to visualize what I think of gender identity.
Its neither here nor there.
Visually, I am a woman, biologically I am,
But who decides on the behavioural front,
who defines what I am?
I think looking at differences in gender and how it leads to social situations of a violent nature, will get difficult, since the stand I take might be affected by the warped understanding I have of my gender identity.
But do I need that clarification about my gender ?
Couldn't it just exist without a name or a definition?
I made a stencil of a cup placed near a round jug and painted the shapes into the journal.