Since the year 1999, I have been researching the tragicomic dimension of the mask through the design and creation of masks, theatre courses, theatre ensembles, and performances. I am more and more focused on the development of my vision as a mask-maker, and on the creation of masks that tell the stories of our time. Masks have become the characters of my shows; at the same time, the shows themselves are masks.
I confront the feelings, dramas, and stories that I wish to tell as if they were clay, plaster, leather, wood, resin, fabric or latex. With this invisible material, I look for forms through which a personal world of sensation and intuition can take substance. Sometimes characters, texts, courses, and shows are born. For me, they are all masks

Sometimes a feeling reaches the level of “a Form” and then I stylize the Form into a shape: that shape gives birth to a series of masks.
Sometimes in the struggle between the feeling and the Form, the shape suddenly appears, and the mask is there; it is the mask itself that makes me understand its nature.
Almost always, at a certain point of the creation, it is difficult to understand who is leading the game: me, or the mask.

The imperceptible needs a mask in order to manifest itself 

Some of the masks become part of the shows that I conceive and direct. Others are used as pedagogic tools in my workshops and conferences; at the ATELIER Mask Movement Theatre in Tuscany, Italy. On a few occasions, I have created masks for artists whose research interests me.

Naiveté and the mask
Humans all carry with them, and within them, archetypal movements that belong to the movement of the universe. Feeling them, knowing them, recognizing them, and expressing them through theatre is my poetic need.
My curiosity about the essence of human gesture has led me to search, through the creation and use of masks, for the primary states of presence of humans in relationship with the space around them.
What is it that makes us move? What is it that moves us forward, backward, or sideways? Why do we strive so hard to do everything that we do? Why do we want to understand? Why do we think we have understood? And when we believe we do understand, why, through the mask, do we humans still appear so utterly stupid and yet so deeply moving?
And why, even though I realize that we are fundamentally unable to fully understand the world around us, do I continue to strive to understand?

© 2019 by Matteo Destro. All right reserved