Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hochigan: Chapter 55

Wood Plank, broken shims, Nails, Aluminum, Cotton, Twine

While I was waiting for the Fairies to patina, I made Hochigan. I didn't know what Hochigan looked like when I started him. I actually drilled the two holes in the plank thinking I was going to carve the Banshee out of it. But I've been looking through books of African masks, and there were these blank plank masks which have really stuck with me, and the plank itself, uncarved, was so expressive. I looked through the Book of Imaginary Beings, and found Hochigan- a blank monster, who steals speech from the animals. I thought of a boarded up building, and I got here, to Hochigan's boarded up mouth.
Carving out the back of the mask to fit around the face took me some time- after all, I am no woodworker. But it was relaxing, and kind of Zen, and I have a better understanding of how folks could love the process than I did before.

This mask weighs a ton, though, hence the over the head support rail. Even with that, I found I couldn't really lift my head, and mostly supported the bottom of the mask on my sternum for photo taking. This fellow is definitely an example of a mask design I never would have utilized if not for the Imaginary Beings project.

And, finally, the being, in Borges words: "Ages ago, a certain South African bushman, Hochigan, hated animals, which at the time were endowed with speech. One day he disappeared, stealing their special gift. From the on, animals have never spoken again"

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