amerika give me a reason to love you
a project by elisabeth masé
Friday, August 25, 2017, 7 pm
Elisabeth Masé in conversation with Darius Bork and audience as a performance
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 7 pm
When I first entered the exhibition AMERIKA.GIVE ME A REASON TO LOVE YOU in Berlin on January 2017 I was completely flashed by the beauty of the watercolour images Elisabeth Masé realized for this project, but also very irritated by the content of the images – violence, blood, strange visions like nightmares – all packed in this perfect scenario of the gallery space. It was like a contradiction to see all this obvious struggle of the american society, nicely framed and beautyfully set up. But that’s the point… Masé is a perfectionist! And when she delivers a message, as with this exhibition and the book, she wants to irritate and initiate a strong impact on all of us. She wants us to wake up, not by shocking us on first sight, but with the sense and notion of beauty and positivity. I am sure she believes in the positive side of man kind and that’s the reason for her perfectionism. Her art work, and not only this actual project shown in Trieste, has an outstanding quality both in terms of artistic execution, as well as with regard to the artistic and intellectual statement. Masé is moved and tries to move the world with her artistic projects and concepts as only few artist do. (Darius Bork)
AMERIKA.GIVE ME A REASON TO LOVE YOU, which was produced in 2013, at a time when Elisabeth Masé was commuting between the States and Europe, documents the artist's engagement with the United States. In texts and watercolors, the artist addresses the weapon fanatism, power fantasies, stereotypical images of women, distorted perception of gender roles, all themes of high explosiveness. What if, as with Masé's soldiers, cannons and phallus become one in delusions, and violence as well as sex fantasies without limits will be lived? Red color, red thread sewn into the paper, open wounds and blood, determine a common pattern in the images of the book. The supposedly cheerful colorful child scenes, the acts, but also the depiction of false heroes, show a vulnerable society. The body and the soul are vulnerable.
In her first AMERIKA show, which was held in Berlin at the Katharina Maria Raab Gallery in January 2017, and due to the results of the US elections in November 2016 and the following inauguration of Donald Trump, the artist let a small edition of printed tank tops and embroidered hats with the inscription AMERIKA. GIVE ME A REASON TO LOVE YOU manufacture and distribute to young people from Berlin. In return, the young participants sent photos of themselves and their friends with the embroidered caps and printed tank tops. They sent photos from techno clubs, hardware stores, convenience stores, bars or their homes, so images and selfies of their daily lives. In the following, their snapshots were exhibited as "Work in Progress" during the exhibition in Berlin, and the young people, most of whom had never entered a gallery, visited the exhibition and took an interest in the panel discussion.
In August and September the artist will also perform the same action in Trieste. She will contact the young people through her curator and other collaborators, give them printed tank tops and embroidered hats, and invite them to participate in this artistic interactive "work in progress", which was started by the Berlin youths and is now to be transferred to Trieste.
What will happen to America? And what will happen to Europe? Who will succeed: Democracy or demagogy? All of these questions also affect the young people: it is their responses and suggestions we are looking forward to.
The event is being held in collaboration with Katharina Maria Raab Galerie, Berlin.
ELISABETH MASÉ was born in Basel, Switzerland, where she studied fine arts at the Hochschule für Kunst. She lectured in Basel continuously from 1984 to 1997. In 1994, she was a guest lecturer at the National Academy of Arts in Oslo, Norway. In 1996, she moved to Germany where she currently lives and works. She exhibited her art in several institutions in Europe, i.e. Halle Sud, Geneva, Kunsthalle Basel, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Museum MartA Herford, Kunstverein Synagoge Oerlinghausen and Bielefelder Kunstverein, Germany. Among her permanent public works are „Les Cours Etoilées“ for the University in Neuchâtel, „The Morning“ for the Museum Waldhof and „Raum der Stille“ for the Capella Hospitalis in Bielefeld. Since 1992, Elisabeth Masé is publishing her work in artist’s books, lately including her own writing. Two volumes with watercolors, short stories and poetry came out with Verlag Kleinheinrich in Münster, Germany, entitled “Der Hibiskus blutet” and “Amerika. Give Me a Reason to Love You”. In 2016 Elisabeth Masé extended an artistic project "THE DRESS" with a workshop, photography and a film. She had numerous awards including the Swiss Award and the Manor Kunstpreis and received a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Her paintings and works on paper are in public and distinguished private collections in Switzerland, Germany and the US.
venue: Studio Tommaseo, Trieste, via del Monte 2/1
opening hours: Tue > Sat 5 > 8 pm