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Snout Masks

A small mask yields a big dimesion


Ideation and concept by Felix B.Q.

Development and construction in leather by Felix B.Q. and Andrea Cavarra.

In collaboration with Zorba Officina Creativa.

Photography by Cristian Scheggia.


Snout Mask (also nominal to slave mask) is conceived as a tool for writing, character development, and movement analysis for theatre performance and dance choreography.

It is also a performative mask due to a concentration of information and access to an audience’s imaginative life.


Originally intended to cover mouth and nose, it can also be used hand held to generate voice and dialogue with the actor himself and in relation with other snout masks. Relocation of the mask on the actor’s body generates a game dynamic to a changing strategy in the psychological life that each mask provides.


A mask that covers the vital areas of the face establishes a dominant relationship with the actor or dancer that wears it. Furthermore the eyes of the actor are uncovered and generate a double persona. This exchange with the mask generates a slave / master relationship that dissolves once the mask is liberated from its definition and the actor can then dialogue with it. A Snout Mask has a voice when used detached from the actor’s face.

Strong versatility holds to its value.


Current uses for face masks are common, from protection to poisonous gasses, pollution, or to prevent infection in sterile environments. It’s uses move also into the fetish and the masochist. Historical examples abound: such was the use on slaves in Latinamerica to prevent suicide by ingestion or, in some cases to african tribes, the practice of geophagia.

A deep psychological game analysis should follow into the movement expansion it generates. But in all respects there is a relationship of absorption of a character to the player that performs or trains with it. Creation of a Snout Mask is linked to psychological transformation, that holds and specifies archetypical patterns of though and movement. Each character contains in a mask a multiple amount of expressions. Each mask is in itself its countermark.

A Snout mask lives in the perpetuity of an instant: in the re-enactment of a movement: an instant to which they themselves are slave to.

Discovering these moments opens the game within each actor.


The idea behind these mask was specific for the creation and rehearsal period of “Carnal” (2013), a theatre, dance, music, installation and live calligraphy performance presented in vacated and disused Metrò Club of Lugano before its demolition. Its name, Snout Mask, is the product on an initial exchange of information with Australian artist and collaborator Jacob Logos, during the first sketches and developing of the masks.


The first four completed masks are presented with this short description. It’s uses and possibilities are in full research and expansion and will be presented on stage as introduction piece for theatre and music performance “Diogenes” (2016).


Collaboration with master mask-maker Andrea Cavarra based in Milan during 2015 has helped transform and idea into reaching its potential. Cavarra’s extraordinary experience with masks is cradled in Commedia dell’ Arte, root to all contemporary theatrical European masks. His understanding into the essence of masks has provided the breath of life only available to a master.


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