Face it

Caroline Ednie discovers the many faces of the mask.

The Power Of The Mask is one ofthose rare things a breathlessly interactive exhibition which actually works. Granted. masks as subjects. do offer , considerable scope for exploration. However, the a strength ofthis particular show lies in its ' organisation. It succeeds in placing the masks in a wider context via video, narratives and interactive activities. yet allows them to operate meaningfully. Overall. it avoids the nauseating sensory bombardment which normally accompanies this type ofexhibition.

Masks have provided various cultures throughout history with a number of significant functions. This show focuses on the role of the mask in play. ritual and camival. and in doing so creates a quite wonderful effect. The theme of play is rich in its variety. encompassing a narrative of masks ‘Although I had a list of all the masks in the illustrating the commedia dell'arte, a masked drama ; museum collection.‘ explains the organiser of the Organisers have pulled offquite a coup by enlisting a which began in Italy in the 16th century and which is exhibition Katriana Hazell. ‘it wasn't until I opened Significant C(mmbl’ll‘)" by Peter MlnShll”. one Of now very much embedded in European theatre the store cupboard doors and found these masks that ; Trinidad's foremost masquerade Mil-“l5 and (“Signer tradition. Masks and costumes. courtesy of the I realised how extraordinary they were. Then I found 0f the costumes for the opening ceremony of last Trestle Theatre Company. also feature and include a black and white photograph of Tibetans actually Will's Barcelona Olympics. the Tower Block masks from their recent production. wearing them. so we tried to reconstruct. in a given The POW" 0/771? Mll-i‘k "0! only has some mean

Masked theatre is believed to have developed from space. the photograph. which was taken in 1919' displays including Minshall's Angels Of Fire from the use of masks in sacred rituals. Ancient Buddhist Nowadays, we are most likely to associate masks Barcelona ll 8'90 USCS Video CXlCnSiVClY- 'Thc

spectacular carnival of the lot. and the exhibition

ritual was traditionally explored by Tibetan monks at with the elaborate celebrations of the Brazilian Mardi “’hOlC ldca “’33 ‘0 Pl" mils“ in come)“ and YOU can't New Year. where during a masked mystery play a Gras. The section ofthe exhibition devoted to Willy do that WilhOUl ShOWlng "‘0'" Performing». human effigy would be attacked and the evil it camival works particularly well. It traces the Says H1120” ‘ThCTC'S CV6" 1‘ Chance ‘0 W Some Of contained destroyed. la the exhibition. a display of ' evolution ofthe event from its origins as a fertility , the "“lSks 0" for Yourself.

the Tibetan monks in all their masked and costumed festival to its Christianised role as the last wild fling i 77’" P’HW” “fl/16’ MUSk l5 (1’ "1" ROM” Museum Of splendour forms a marvellous centrepiece. before Lent. Trinidad probably hosts the most ' Sim/mill. until 3/ October.

:— The human league

‘As my images change, my technique changes.’ Since his last one-man show, Craig Mulholland’s whole approach is less melodramatic. Sotter, thoughttul laces emerge from what critics acclaimed as his ‘ltembrandtesque painterly quality’ oi last year.

this flowering vision - he is twenty- tour - is perhaps indicated by recurring motits ot a window, of multiple Spanish flags positioned like

has no one guru, except perhaps tor the contemporary Australian artist Sidney tlolan, and although Mulholland believes the antique to be an essential part of painting today, he is not content to settle for a traditional composition.

llis new work often incorporates studio objects such as palette knives and easels. llis hidden agenda may be to disturb any complacency by adding an element of surprise. ‘To my mind my paintings are like making a robot,’ he explains. ‘It is artificial. The whole point of painting is that it isn’t a reality.’

Desperately uniashionable, lite drawing is still the spine of his work, and he regards people as enduringly

road signs, and the line which runs . interesting. Mulholland confessed that across his canvasses signifying the Mulholland’s version of Turner’s Rain, same canvas 83 a Portrait of his he teels his weakness is that he is not horizon or giving a distorted Steam And Speed, and is set on a girllriend and an image of a deckchair intentionally saythg anything, Yet the perspective to a room. Expanses of beach, with a repeated portrait on a towel. liis signature is the sophistication at his depletion in the airy space are used to concentrate exploding into steam on the western blending of techniques by the past human tom anon; his "guns to attention on his earthy figures. The horizon. masters, mainly Dutch and Spanish, speak tot thmms, (Tatiana

large painting, Pier, forms the core oi Mulholland loves paradox. A with more recent artists such as uantstm)

the exhibition and contains elements pastiche oi a Vermeer painting and Bacon and Freud who have played a catty Muthouamt ts at 11", Scottish reflected in other works. It is historical flags hold their own on the large role in his work. flow he says he Gallery with 7 notch”

56 The List 10—23 September 1993