Mask With No Name

Photograph of a mask with eyes closes
Naomi Kates – Mask with no name view 1
Photograph of a mask with eyes closes
Naomi Kates – mask with no name view 3

Artist: Naomi Kates
Year: 2015
Medium: Clay Mask
Artist Statement:¬†Using mask work, this piece explores naming and self-labelling as contrasting sites of silencing and empowerment. In it, I work with these contrasting themes; between authoritative forms of naming which silence, and empowering forms of self-labelling – how we know and name our own experience. Authoritative naming splits off the experience from the person, as institutional staff people fail to look at the person; instead they read the person’s “tag” (Reville, 1981). Masks can be representative of a part of the self in concrete form. Universally and historically masks hold a magical place, a place of transformation in rites and traditions; a feeling that is frozen in time that is either a springboard for further examination or the transformative moment itself. This mask I’ve produced is about finding creative ways to break down the authoritative voices that speak for us and and locate alternative processes and new means for reflective dialogue.