We all wear masks. Once you’ve lived long enough, you begin to recognize and read people via the mask of their face before any words are spoken. There are few original masks in the world and once you’ve reacted and interacted with one face you quickly begin to learn all masks of that sort behave and express in the same way. What happens when the faces of the dead are resurrected into masks of the living?
Is there an eerie disconnect between the reality of expression and the fantasy of science?
What makes a face human? Are we our expressions or not? If we lose the inborn DNA in a mask that tries to be another’s face, have we lost the who and the what that makes us unique and ties us to a specific familial past?
Can the slant of an eye and the curl of a lip and the cut of an eyebrow matter in cultural identification?
Do we risk tempting a universal theory of beauty that will give each of us the same nose, same cheekbones and same chins? If we are not unique in our ugliness then what makes beauty sought-after if everyone wears the same aesthetic face?
Perhaps we need to look backward to warn against our futures and let the Deathmasks of the past remind us of personality and form and beauty in the expression of the unique.
Our faces are our histories.
To create a stone face in life is to wear your Deathmask in blood.
We have been trained to recognize the dangerous face, the taut expression, the evil eye, the twitching lip, the perfect nose and the strong chin and we find appropriate comfort and fear in those instant identifications.
How did we get these values of facial expression?
If we one day all have faces perfected by science and technology, will our ability to discern and intuit meaning and expression become a lost tactic of survival?
If our faces begin to lack identifiable characteristics like wrinkles and worry lines and crow’s feet and age spots — will we then become the wearers of ordinary dead faces before our deaths?
We are obsessed with youth and beauty in the face — but not within the body or inside the heart — and we are all cheapened a bit in the end when those among us who shatter their Deathmasks in life are ostracized and mocked by the carvings of the mainstream mask makers.