The art of theatre is a specific and harmonious synthesis of a variety of arts, which is why it has its effect on the viewer not only through words immersed in emotions at the time of their articulation, but also by the aesthetics of the mise-en-scene. This provides the theatre with great capacity for artistic expression as it simultaneously affects the senses, the mind and the emotions of the spectator. The theatre is also very appealing to children, none less than the adults. This is partly due to the fact that the stage presentations mostly feature a sort of ‘purposeful obviousness’ which is also a basic principle of general methodics in any educational work involving children and youth that allow sensory impressions to trigger a child’s imagination, learning process, critical and divergent thought and experience of the reality. Children are therefore especially receptive to the stage art which can deeply mark their personalities. Theatrical production for children as well as the methods and contents of their stimulation are described in the book Mudrost čula peti deo – dečje dramsko stvaralaštvo (The Wisdom of Senses Volume Five: Stage Productions for Children) (2010), which is part of the edition Mudrost čula (The Wisdom of Senses). This paper presents the determinants which constitute the methodics of stage production, also described in this book, with a particular emphasis on the methods.
The paper aims to highlight the importance of play and performance for development and learning at all ages, both in early childhood and in adulthood. The mask and playing with the mask in this context appear as some of the possible tools and means for facilitation of play within the educational process. Performing with masks not only supports learning and development, but represents development in a nutshell: wearing a mask we are at the same time who we are and who we pretend to be. In this way, the mask can be an educational tool that can be used in all phases of the educational process, be part of the process or serve to present it. A mask can be given in advance or made while the process is going on, be one of the activities or serve to summarize the activities, and its use depends on the sensibility of the adult education practitioner.
On the example of four modern Serbian dramas created after 2000: Šine by Milena Marković (The Tracks), Skakavci by Biljana Srbljanović (Locusts), Pomorandžina kora by Maja Pelević (Orange Peel) and Moja ti by Olga Dimitrijević (Dear you), the paper analyses different approaches to the character as a mask and the appearance of a narrator in a dramatic form, as a mask for the playwright. The author finds theoretical foundation in the works of Jean-Pierre Sarrazac, Anne Ubersfeld and Erika Fischer-Lichte who discuss the importance of the idea of mask in modern dramaturgy. In her play Šine (The Tracks) Milena Marković examines the position of women in a modern version of the patriarchal matrix: every female character in her drama, no matter what age, education or nationality shares the same name – Rupica (Dimple). Biljana Srbljanović in her drama Skakavci (Locusts) disfigures the so-called social elite where patriarchal matrix and violence are carefully hidden behind a form of refined, urban city life. Maja Pelević in her drama Pomorandžina kora (Orange Peel) examines the influence of the media and the environment on the formation of a modern woman`s consciousness. Olga Dimitrijević in Moja ti (Dear you), through a story of love and friendship between members of older generations, seeks to revitalize their values. By not showing their characters as whole beings but rather as masks, the playwrights demystify the act of writing and relate freely towards the drama form. Characters that are masks, enable writers to examine different social phenomena which are hidden beneath media mystification, projecting desirable images of the society and ourselves.
The paper analyses the phenomena of masking, costuming, disguising and discovering identities in the personality and the works of Laza Kostić. These features, strongly or less strongly expressed, are contemplated on different levels and in different forms: in their character, behaviour, dressing, speech. Also, the phenomenon is observed on a metalanguage level: the mask and its derivatives (disguise, hiding, and grotesque) have also been the topics of his poetry (Beseda, Gavrilu Egrešiji, Na parastos Jelene Bozdine…) and his theatrical pieces (Gordana, Maksim Crnojević). Since the appearance of tragedy, the mask has been connected with the theatre as a sign of metamorphosis of the individual-actor, who by using it, becomes a herald of (higher) forces, emphasising that the man is lost behind the role, i.e. behind a figure. This is why, in this paper, having in mind a passionate preoccupation of Laza Kostić with the theatre (with due caution towards the methods of positivist biographism), different forms of masking, mimicry, disguise and unmasking will be subjected to analysis as elements pointing to some of the inner genesis factors in his poems, including his magnificent penitential poem Santa Maria della Salute.
The image of a woman in visual arts is profiled and limited by social constructs, which are shaped and represented in accordance with the needs of a male author on the one and the observer on the other side. The image of a woman is produced in such discursive frames that it deviates from essential femininity, insisting on masking and camouflage strategies, in order to satisfy the imposed norm. When it comes to artistic practices that defy strategies with a masculinized approach in the representation of a woman’s body and identity, feminist studies of images recognize several forms. One is aimed at presenting what the dominant discourse excludes – articulating marginal identities, others focus on the deconstruction of the masculine-centred language and the space as a representational framework, while some are directed at mapping the space beyond hegemonic discourse to the discovery and performance of discursively unrecognizable identities. All these practices are common in that they are critically related to the construct of gender and gender differences, by providing resistance to the masked image of a woman in visual arts, and by defining new, specific, decentred subjectivities in their work. The greatest contribution to feminist strategies for the realization of idiosyncrasies was precisely the surrealistic picture, in which the decentralized subject as a paradigm encouraged their own deconstruction, by removing all those layers imposed by the canonical patriarchal culture, by changing, transforming and transgressing in the field of feminist self-representation.
The main objective of this paper is to research and analyse the role and significance of the theatre mask. It will include a theoretical study of the mask and its use in some of the most important periods in history when the mask and the masking represented an essential theatrical convention/form, props, part of the costume used by an actor to build a role, by a performer to express himself/herself in front of the audience. It will research into how and why masks were used in the prehistoric theatre, Antique theatre – when the mask gained an important role of reinforcing the idea of tragedy i.e. comedy, giving actors monumental and godly images. In the period of Renaissance, the symbolism of the mask changed, especially in folk stage productions of the Comedia dell’arte. The second part of the paper will analyse the productions and specific uses of the mask in the Avant-garde theatre – the theatre in which the mask is both formally and essentially the core of its performance. In particular, the role of the mask in the dramas Pere Ubu by Alfred Jarry and the use of the mask in the performances of the avant-garde theatrical company Hleb i lutke (Bread and Puppets). The key research question of this paper is whether the mask is just part of the period costume or whether its appearance on an actor’s face carries much deeper significance representing one of the authentic and autonomous elements of the theatrical production.
The study analyses the grounds for the general art history overview by Oto Bihalji Merin (1904-1993). His texts recognize the concept of the mask as a key one. The paper analyses how the concept of the mask influences his definition of art, determines (in a multidisciplinary manner) his approach to art studying, expends the scope of interest to anything that can be taken for a mask and defines the anthropological meaning of visual culture research. The concept of a mask is studied as an aid in redefining art and structuring a new general overview of art history, based on a display of the visual side of key human activities.
Nietzsche’s identification with the Hellenic deity Dionysus is the most obvious example of his masking. In this essay, two basic questions are examined: What is the function of this masking and what lies beneath Nietzsche’s masks? The answer is sought in the characteristics of Nietzsche’s genealogic and perspectivistic way of thinking. The result of this contemplation is a dynamic and fragmentary text, which is a game of hide and display, a game that creates its own rules as well as the players. Different perspectives of the Nietzsche’s text do not find the end in the dialectical synthesis or hermeneutical “fusion of horizons”. Behind the mask, there is no “real” character although it does not follow that the masks are therefore “false”.
The Japanese Noh theatre is the most widely known type of mask theatre in the world today. Although the usage of masks in Japan dates back to prehistoric times, very little can be said undoubtedly about these practices. The ancestors of the traditional Noh mask are of a much later date as they trace back to the 7th century when the mask arrived from China. At that time, China had already developed more profane varieties of the sacral exorcist rituals, which included a great variety of popular topics in addition to the sacral ones. Once in Japan, the mask came into usage first at the Imperial Court, being part of the costume in the performance arts of Chinese origins such as gigaku and later sangaku. The founder of Noh theatre is considered to be Zeami Motokiyo (1363–1443) who adapted these and other extant arts so they can better suit the aesthetic needs of the newly emerged class of samurai lords. Today the Noh drama is well-known for its close ties with Buddhism and Shintoism, being at the same time deeply rooted in the Japanese literary tradition.