chapter  9
Theatre of Bone
ByREBECCA SCHNEIDER
Pages 8

Brilliantly resplendent on the face of the small bone disk is the unmistakable visage of a person-an actor-wearing a theatrical mask. Turned in profile, the mask and the masked actor we partially see behind it, looks off to the side. Through the classical downturn of the mask’s large and open mouth, a small boney tongue still flickers. In fact, this little masked bone-face, relic of the Roman Empire, has ridden Western history all the way through its Dark Ages, its Renaissance, its Enlightenment and industrialisations, across the sprawling anthropocene to our mutual ‘now.’ The circle of bone gazes out at us even as the little masked face looks off to our left, calling or responding to some tragedy just out of view. What does it see? The vast and violent obscene of Empire.