Movement, Story & Structure: Developing the 'identity' idea

I've been exploring the idea of masks more and more, trying to develop a simple scenario in which emotional baggage could cause conflict. My initial thoughts, as suggested by members of the brainstorming groups, was to simply portray a number of family arguments perhaps caused by physical conflict of the gigantic mask bags they lug around with them. Perhaps a wife is trying to wash up with her bag beside her, her husband hauls his onto the worktop and breaks a plate, a fight breaks out, a cat steals a mask — that kind of thing. I didn't feel it was strong enough though — there wasn't so much of a meaning I could try to express. It just felt to me like a family wearing a bunch of masks and arguing.

I also tried toying with the idea of the businessman again — perhaps he's stopped taking his 'work face' off at home and his wife is sick of it. There could be pictures on the walls of happier times as she remembers the man he used to be? Again, though, quite a generic message and I was having difficulty deciding how to portray it visually.

I started toying with the idea that the masks don't have to be conventional masks at all — they don't even have to be human. Masks have always been thought of or used to disguise one's true intentions or identity, often so they fit in with another crowd —

Masks contain complete social schemas. Others look at the mask and understand what it represents and know what mask to wear themselves. [...] Masks thus protect the person and facilitate interaction with others. I wear a mask in different situations to be the person I want to be there.


Pretty much what I wanted to express. People project themselves differently depending on who they're with or what they want. A good example might be primary school where you get students segregated into clusters — anybody that doesn't slot into any of those groups is usually picked on. I've always thought of school kids as packs of animals or wolves — I thought that might make a nice metaphor? Wearing wolf or sheep masks?

I had a brief spark of an idea involving a kid being chased through the playground by a pack of 'wolves,' carrying his huge sack of identities, and trying to hide amongst the other 'animals' — but I didn't get very far with it. I think I'm straying too far from the original concept. I need to revert back to the 'domestic' concept. I'm just over-tired and in no fit state to think clearly. I've had a look at quite a bit of reference material, maybe I just need to take a step back and let it sink in?


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