“Ritual and Masks” is part of the 32-minute feature Masking, an experimental video by Joellyn Rock. The segment features Duluth artist Mary Plaster, artistic director of Duluth All Souls Night, who collaborated with Chris Lutter of Minneapolis to build the 17-foot-tall marionette skeleton that was paraded down Superior Street a month ago.
Rock’s full-length feature was created during the evolving pandemic of 2020-2021. The visual narrative draws from historical imagery of plague and pandemic masks, theatrical and ritual masques, protective masks designed for science and medical use, and homespun mask-making rising to meet the supply demands of the COVID-19 crisis.
The full feature is embedded below.
From the Vimeo description:
Masking uses a mix of zoom-remote and live-local interviews, a motley collection of audio/visual media marked by these scrappy times. Segments feature costume designer Sasha Howell of Zeitgeist Arts Mask Force, textile artist/designer, Kirsten Aune, and mixed-media artist/puppeteer, Mary Plaster. Philosophy Professors Dr. Alexis Elder and Dr. Jeanine Weekes Schroer thoughtfully consider the ethics and social justice issues raised by masking. Political Scientist, Dr. Jeremy Youde and Essentia Health’s Chief Well-Being Officer, Dr. Nancy Sudak help us think about public health attitudes during pandemics past and present. This work remixes colors and textures from public domain images, improvised dance by Kayla Schiltgen and Kristen Hylenski, and electronic music by JJ Sivak. Masking is a messy search for a way to process the days we are living through.
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