music from “Small Circle of Attention”, a film directed by Josef Tuka
author of the original music: Vojtěch Procházka
“Story of Masks” is a video installation based on the current technical possibilities and subsequent correction of a moving picture.
I have gone through archives of film post-production and gathered black-and-white video sequences, so-called masks. These masks were originally used for making special effects, as a tool enabling to separate image planes and combine them with other layers as required. A mask is typically used for separating action so that background could be placed behind an actor on the first plane. Masks are carried on alpha-channels (or alpha transparency channels) determining the transparency of pixels. A mask is recorded as a black-and-white picture. A white pixel means that the relevant pixel in the image layers under the mask is readable, a black one means it is invisible. Shades of grey mean different degrees of transparency. The mask itself is never seen in the final presentation of the moving picture. If it were, it would be a technical error.
In the case of my video, masks have become the main actors; nothing else was used from the original moving pictures: only masks as black-and-white animations and a layer of sound. It is interesting that even such a reduced moving picture evokes in viewers sensation as if they were watching a real story experiencing emotions and imaginations.