When I occasionally remember to breathe, I take the opportunity to scream, though I find it hard to do so without visualising that twisted movie mask. This is worth thinking about. I’m an Art Historian by trade, and even though it’s not my period, one would expect Munch to come to mind; but even though the world’s on fire and the 80s revival’s peaking with the threat of nuclear Armageddon, my conception of disaster remains inextricably linked to masks. À propos of diddly squat, there’s a man on TV explaining the necessity of burning a barnful of pianos, and I see him shuffle through the solemn ritual of petrol and safety matches, his face masked like a surgeon in a Hepworth study, his soft eyes surveying a world cast to scrapping hounds. I remember the breath of cool music in a Baroque chapel, and I scream like a siren at the heart of a dissolving city. My mask is blazing celluloid leaves.


Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor

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