avatars and masks

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avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:10 pm


Yeats, in Per Amica Silentia Lunae (1918):
"I think all happiness depends on the energy to assume the mask of some other life, on a re-birth as something not one's self."

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:23 pm

then:

Wiki condensed:

In Hinduism, an avatar, (Sanskrit for "descent" [viz., from heaven to earth]) is a deliberate descent of a deity from heaven to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being (i.e., Vishnu for Vaishnavites) and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation", but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation".

The term is most often associated with Vishnu, though it has also come to be associated with other deities.Varying lists of avatars of Vishnu appear in Hindu scriptures, including the ten Dashavatara of the Garuda Purana and the twenty-two avatars in the Bhagavata Purana, though the latter adds that the incarnations of Vishnu are innumerable.

The avatars of Vishnu are a primary component of Vaishnavism. An early reference to avatar, and to avatar doctrine, is in the Bhagavad Gita.

Shiva and Ganesha are also described as descending in the form of avatars. The various manifestations of Devi, the Divine Mother principal in Hinduism, are also described as avatars or incarnations by some scholars and followers of Shaktism.
The avatars of Vishnu carry a greater theological prominence than those of other deities, which some scholars perceive to be imitative of the Vishnu avatar lists.

“ Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases I send myself forth.

For the protection of the good and for the destruction of evil,
and for the establishment of righteousness,
I come into being age after age.”
(Gita:4.7- Cool

edit: the smiley inserted itself here..the number eight followed by the bracket inserts it automatically
...the sequence should read: four, dot, seven, dash, eight, close bracket
...for a minute I thought it might be a manifestation of the interweb


Matsya, fish avatar of Vishnu

Matsya, the fish-avatar who saved Manu – the progeniter of mankind from the great deluge and rescued the Vedic scriptures by killing a demon. Story can be found in the Matsya Purana.


Mohini, the only female avatar of Vishnu (statue in a Belur temple, Karnataka.)


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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:23 pm


now:


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Re: avatars and masks

Post  eddie on Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:59 pm



Picasso's Desmoiselles d'Avignon clearly shows the painter's new interest in African masks.

In his excellent Picasso biography, Patrick O'Brian suggests that PP's Art from this point on was motivated by the invocation/banishment of spirits- the perceived function of the mask, in fact.

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  eddie on Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:03 pm

Some decades ago, I was a stage actor on a Fringe level and had occasion now and again to work with masks: a very freaky experience.

If you're at all receptive to such things, it might almost make you believe in Possession.

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:26 pm

eddie wrote: If you're at all receptive to such things, it might almost make you believe in Possession.
..possibly an effective way to exorcise or express one's inner demons Shocked

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  eddie on Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:36 pm

^

I'm trying hard not to be silly about this, but it's as though the mask has a personality of its own which takes you over.

Try it and see!

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:23 am

^^ Wouldn't it be great to be like a child and believe that what you're telling us is something that actually happens? And the "I'm trying hard not to be silly about this" makes it even more enchanting...

I made a mask in school and it was ugly. I remember the smell of it. It makes me a bit sad I don't know why.

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:51 am

"The persona is a complicated system of relations between individual consciousness and society, fittingly enough a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and, on the other, to conceal the true nature of the individual."

The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious (1928).


"Whoever looks into the mirror of the water will see first of all his own face. Whoever goes to himself risks a confrontation with himself. The mirror does not flatter, it faithfully shows whatever looks into it; namely, the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor. But the mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face."

Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious (1935).

Carl Gustav Jung



Wikipedia:

In ancient Latin, persona meant "mask."

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Constance on Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:34 am

eddie wrote:
In his excellent Picasso biography, Patrick O'Brian suggests that PP's Art from this point on was motivated by the invocation/banishment of spirits- the perceived function of the mask, in fact.

Sounds good. I just ordered it from my library.

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:15 am

C.G. Jung and Picasso
http://web.org.uk/picasso/jung.html


In 1932, Carl Gustav Jung wrote a perceptive analysis of Picasso's psychology after seeing an exhibition of his paintings at the Zürich Kunsthaus. The analysis was published in the Neue Züricher Zeitung. The article offended many of Picasso's admirers in the artworld. In it Jung referred to Picasso as a Schizophrene; which caused such a vociferous reaction that he later felt it necessary to publish an explanation. If his artworld critics had spent a more time appraising the article they would have seen that Jung's observations were made on the basis of clinical research. He believed that Picasso's paintings were interpretable from a psychological perspective in the same way that his patients pictures were. Picasso's use of disturbed and fantastic imagery indicated that such imagery was arising from his subconscious. From it's characteristics, it could be identified as being schizoid, as far as Jung was concerned. This pronouncement was not a condemnation because Jung saw in Picasso's imagery an important process taking place which he referred to as Nekyia - the descent into hell. To Jung this was very important, for only by undertaking such a journey could an individual ever hope to come to terms with himself spiritually and psychologically.

Picasso like Jung, had a great interest in symbols and it was from this use of symbols that Jung recognised Picasso's Nekyia, an experience that Jung also appears to have undertaken*. It was this that allowed him to speak with such authority about Picasso, although he was careful not to predict the outcome.

Both Jung and Picasso practised forms of Alchemy. As far as Picasso is concerned this has been almost wholly overlooked by his biographers. Jung on the other hand openly introduced Alchemical principals to human psychology, much of which has since been embraced by psychologists around the world. With a similar intention Picasso concealed Alchemical meanings in his paintings, in the hope that one day his work might be better understood.

The 1934 drawing corroborates Jung's analysis of Picasso. It too reveals Picasso's Nekya experience in it's penultimate stage. It conceals a multidimensional view of the artist's hell that is quite beyond conventional art historical appreciation.

*By this I refer to the mysterious period in which Jung wrote his Seven Sermons to the Dead.

See also The C.J. Jung Home Page where you'll find more discussion and images of the 1934 Drawing.

© Mark Harris 1996


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Re: avatars and masks

Post  pinhedz on Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:19 am

It was Raven who stole the sun, and who first tempted humans out of the clam shell...



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Re: avatars and masks

Post  pinhedz on Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:22 am

pinhedz wrote:It was Raven who stole the sun, and who first tempted humans out of the clam shell--and that was the good Raven:
...and that was the good Raven.

Bad Raven was named Crooked Beak, on account of having such a crooked beak:


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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:52 am

Sophie Taeuber at Cabaret Voltaire. 1916


Sophie Taeuber dancing at the opening of the Galerie Dada. She wears a large
rectangular mask made by Marcel Janco. Painted with ox blood, it is inspired by
non-Western or so-called primitive tradition. Her costume, designed by Jean
Arp, is made up of cardboard tubes for arms, which end in mechanical pincers
instead of fingers.



The photograph of Hugo Ball, dressed in cardboard costume and conical hat,
reciting the sound poem Karawane at a Cabaret Voltaire soirée, before being
carried off stage in quasi-religious paroxysm
, has achieved iconic status in the
history of Dada. Sex and the Cabaret: Dada’s Dancers (Ruth Hemus)


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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:04 am

eddie wrote:^I'm trying hard not to be silly about this, but it's as though the mask has a personality of its own which takes you over.

Try it and see!
...you can see it as well in children...even a shy child comes out of his shell behind the appropriate mask.
...and to a lesser extent, it's true of the avatar masks here on the forum, at least for me. When someone was insulting me once I had to change my avatar (put on a new face) so that the words weren't touching 'me'...so I guess that's using a mask as a shield.
Then I noticed that behind the tougher mask I stopped feeling/acting like a doormat in the argument and gave as good as I got. When a truce was called via a group hug, I had to put up an insipid avatar so I could calm down...I wasn't being taken over by the mask, but was loving the license it gave me to be a tough bitch:

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:43 pm

Brittanica online:


Mask worn with costume: makishi dancer, a masked ancestral spirit who assists at initiation rites of the tribes of the northwestern region of Zambia.


Female tumbuan mask of the Dukduk secret society, New Britain. The head is made of sacking with a tuft of feathers and skirt of leaves.


Ancestor mask from the middle Sepik River area of New Guinea used in clan initiation rites. The upper portion is basketwork with faces modeled of red earth mixed with coconut oil and trimmed with shells, feathers, and a skirt of bark fibres.

The wearing of masks:
The wearer is also considered to be in direct association with the spirit force of the mask and is consequently exposed to like personal danger of being affected by it. For his protection, the wearer, like the mask maker, is required to follow certain sanctioned procedures in his use of the mask. In some respects he plays the role of an actor in cooperation or collaboration with the mask. Without his performing dance and posturing routines, which are often accompanied with certain sounds of music, the mask would remain a representation without a full life-force. The real drama and power of its form is the important contribution of the wearer. When he is attired in the mask, there is a loss of his previous identity and the assuming of a new one. Upon donning the mask, the wearer sometimes undergoes a psychic change and as in a trance assumes the spirit character depicted by the mask. Usually, however, the wearer skillfully becomes a “partner” of the character he is impersonating, giving to the mask not only an important spark of vitality by the light flashing from his own eyes but also bringing it alive by his movements and poses. But it would seem that the wearer often becomes psychologically completely attached to the character he is helping to create. He loses his own identity and becomes like an automaton, without his own will, which has become subservient to that of the personage of the mask. It appears, however, that at all times there remains some important, even if sub rosa, association between the mask and its wearer.





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Re: avatars and masks

Post  eddie on Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:13 pm

Constance wrote:
eddie wrote:
In his excellent Picasso biography, Patrick O'Brian suggests that PP's Art from this point on was motivated by the invocation/banishment of spirits- the perceived function of the mask, in fact.

Sounds good. I just ordered it from my library.

Mr & Mrs Patrick O'Brian were neighbours of Picasso, so the biography's perspective arises from personal contact with the artist.

The 'invocation/banishment of spirits' observation is not the theme of the entire book, but an acute observation (I think) about a particular stage of PP's artistic journey- when he was indeed very influenced by the African mask.

POB makes shrewd comments about other stages of the journey, too.

The only negative comment I'd make about this otherwise excellent biography is that, rather strangely, it's not illustrated. No photos or paintings reproduced.

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  eddie on Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:20 pm

blue moon wrote:When he is attired in the mask, there is a loss of his previous identity and the assuming of a new one. Upon donning the mask, the wearer sometimes undergoes a psychic change and as in a trance assumes the spirit character....But it would seem that the wearer often becomes psychologically completely attached to the character he is helping to create. He loses his own identity and becomes like an automaton, without his own will, which has become subservient to that of the personage of the mask. It appears, however, that at all times there remains some important, even if sub rosa, association between the mask and its wearer.

Yep, that's pretty much the phenomenon I was attempting to describe above ^.

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:51 am

In this scene, in the movie The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, they show masks in the wall and later there's an aparition and a possession in the same room.



(Yes I posted this clip before... asking if anybody else sees Marlon Brando there... Felix did hehe)

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:13 am

asdf wrote:(Yes I posted this clip before... asking if anybody else sees Marlon Brando there... Felix did hehe)
...that's a freaky bit of spirit possession going on there...I saw Marlon...he's on the shelf just before the shot of the skulls.

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:09 pm

asdf wrote:C.G. Jung and Picasso
http://web.org.uk/picasso/jung.html


In 1932, Carl Gustav Jung wrote a perceptive analysis of Picasso's psychology after seeing an exhibition of his paintings at the Zürich Kunsthaus. The analysis was published in the Neue Züricher Zeitung. The article offended many of Picasso's admirers in the artworld. In it Jung referred to Picasso as a Schizophrene; which caused such a vociferous reaction that he later felt it necessary to publish an explanation. If his artworld critics had spent a more time appraising the article they would have seen that Jung's observations were made on the basis of clinical research. He believed that Picasso's paintings were interpretable from a psychological perspective in the same way that his patients pictures were. Picasso's use of disturbed and fantastic imagery indicated that such imagery was arising from his subconscious. From it's characteristics, it could be identified as being schizoid, as far as Jung was concerned. This pronouncement was not a condemnation because Jung saw in Picasso's imagery an important process taking place which he referred to as Nekyia - the descent into hell. To Jung this was very important, for only by undertaking such a journey could an individual ever hope to come to terms with himself spiritually and psychologically.

Picasso like Jung, had a great interest in symbols and it was from this use of symbols that Jung recognised Picasso's Nekyia, an experience that Jung also appears to have undertaken*. It was this that allowed him to speak with such authority about Picasso, although he was careful not to predict the outcome.

Both Jung and Picasso practised forms of Alchemy. As far as Picasso is concerned this has been almost wholly overlooked by his biographers. Jung on the other hand openly introduced Alchemical principals to human psychology, much of which has since been embraced by psychologists around the world. With a similar intention Picasso concealed Alchemical meanings in his paintings, in the hope that one day his work might be better understood.

The 1934 drawing corroborates Jung's analysis of Picasso. It too reveals Picasso's Nekya experience in it's penultimate stage. It conceals a multidimensional view of the artist's hell that is quite beyond conventional art historical appreciation.

*By this I refer to the mysterious period in which Jung wrote his Seven Sermons to the Dead.

See also The C.J. Jung Home Page where you'll find more discussion and images of the 1934 Drawing.

© Mark Harris 1996


...I'm reading Jung's 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections'. His analysis of Picasso's in there, as well as some of his alchemy ideas.
There's an interesting account of him dancing in Kenya in 1925 as well...it made me laugh Very Happy

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:48 pm

I read this from http://www.cgjungpage.org/

In his memoir, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung wrote that meaning comes “when people feel they are living the symbolic life, that they are actors in the divine drama. That gives the only meaning to human life; everything else is banal and you can dismiss it. A career, producing of children, are all maya (illusion) compared to that one thing, that your life is meaningful.”

Again, the "actors" word makes me think of the "mask"... so we don't really go off topic.

I think I had that meaningful, I'm in a play, sensation. But it usually lasts a few seconds, not what Jung was refering to I guess.

Also I play this game in my mind, usually when I'm contemplativetly smoking a cigarette. I imagine I'm in a movie, I don't do anything I wouldn't usually do (it's a bit of a boring movie... someone smoking a cigarette quietly) but "something" changes.

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:18 pm

And now I remembered this:


"The privileged situations?"

"The idea I had of them. They were situations which had a rare and precious quality, style, if you
like. To be king, for example, when I was eight years old, seemed a privileged situation to me. Or to
die. You may laugh, but there were so many people drawn at the moment of their death, and so many
who spoke such sublime words at that moment that I quite genuinely thought . . . well, I thought that
by dying you were transported above yourself. Besides, it was enough just to be in the room of a dying
person: death being a privileged situation, something emanated from it and communicated itself to
everyone there. A sort of grandeur. When my father died, they took me up to his room to see him for
the last time. I was very unhappy going up the stairs, but I was also drunk with a sort of religious
ecstasy; I was finally entering a privileged situation. I leaned against the wall, I tried to make the
proper motions. But my aunt and mother were kneeling by the bed, and they spoiled it all by crying."
She says these last words with anger, as if the memory still scorched her. She interrupts herself;
eyes staring, eyebrows raised, she takes advantage of the occasion to live the scene once more.

"I developed all that later on: first I added a new situation, love (I mean the act of love). Look, if
you never understood why I refused . . . certain of your demands, here's your opportunity to
understand now: for me, there was something to be saved. Then I told myself that there should be
many more privileged situations than I could count, finally I admitted an infinite number of them."

"Yes, but what were they?"
"But I've told you," she says with amazement, "I've been explaining to you for fifteen minutes."
"Well, was it especially necessary for people to be impassioned, carried away by hatred or love,
for example; or did the exterior aspect of the event have to be great, I mean—what you could see of it.

. . ."
"Both ... it all depended," she answers ungraciously.
"And the perfect moments? Where do they come in?"
"They came afterwards. First there are annunciatory signs. Then the privileged situation, slowly,
majestically, comes into people's lives. Then the question whether you want to make a perfect moment
out of it."
"Yes," I say, "I understand. In each one of these privileged situations there are certain acts which
have to be done, certain attitudes to be taken, words which must be said—and other attitudes, other

words are strictly prohibited. Is that it?
"
"I suppose so. . . ."
"In fact, then, the situation is the material: it demands exploitation."
"That's it," she says. "First you had to be plunged into something exceptional and feel as though
you were putting it in order. If all those conditions had been realized, the moment would have been

perfect."
"In fact, it was a sort of work of art."
"You've already said that," she says with irritation. "No: it was ... a duty. Youhad to transform
privileged situations into perfect moments. It was a moral question. Yes, you can laugh if you like: it

was moral."

Nausea - Sartre

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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:35 pm

^^ And these are my, probably wrong, thoughts about it. First you have the feeling that you are going to enter into a privileged situation. Then there are certain things to do. I see a big resemblance with a possesion. And it makes me think of (interpretation of?) dreams also, where things are not what they seem. It's all very symbolic. Myth is symbolic. And all these things I've been reading lately. And aren't dreams a desire to materialize what you want? I don't get the moral part though.


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Re: avatars and masks

Post  Guest on Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:11 pm

...^...^^...^^^...Hey asdf...phew!

first the book 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections'

...I tried reading Jung when I was younger and I couldn't grasp where he was coming from. Now that I'm older I grasp bits and pieces. In the book he reviews his life in the context of the vivid dreams and visions that occurred, and that he documented, throughout his life. He tells how they shaped the decisions and the direction of his life, and that he believed innately that it's through such meaningful dreams and visions that the unconscious surfaces and in a sense 'speaks'.

...As well as wanting to understand what the unconscious was, he was driven to unfathom what it was saying, and why. He had an innate belief that the unconscious 'spoke' through symbols and myth (evidenced by the fact that, worldwide, similar symbols and myths had emerged, somewhat simultaneously, in geographically and linguistically isolated groups of people.)

...His interest in symbol and myth was driven by his belief that they were the medium through which the unconscious communicates. This memoir is a reflection of his search to understand and appraise his own life-long dreams and visions.

It's a big subject and I can only sort of come at ir sideways, so I hope I'm making sense

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