post-title Elisabeth Masé | Die 99 Namen der Göttin | Luisa Catucci Gallery | 25.01.-04.03.2023

Elisabeth Masé | Die 99 Namen der Göttin | Luisa Catucci Gallery | 25.01.-04.03.2023

Elisabeth Masé | Die 99 Namen der Göttin | Luisa Catucci Gallery | 25.01.-04.03.2023

Elisabeth Masé | Die 99 Namen der Göttin | Luisa Catucci Gallery | 25.01.-04.03.2023

until 04.03. | #3757ARTatBerlin | Luisa Catucci Gallery presents from 25 January 2023 the exhibition “The 99 Names of the Goddess” with artist Elisabeth Masé.

The exhibition 99 NAMES OF THE GODDESS by Swiss artist Elisabeth Masé is dedicated to a shift in meaning: What would happen if all 99 traditionally male names of God were given a female dimension? What would change through the female form? When and where would the dichotomy of male and female possibly cease to exist?

Women have been viewed from a chauvinistic and patriarchal perspective for centuries. Female thinking, feeling or interacting and even female sexuality and spirituality were and still are manipulated in favour of patriarchal structures.

What is less known is that before the advent of monotheistic religions, the cult of the goddess was predominant. The earth and the mother were associated with her as life-givers. Alongside the great mother goddess, there were numerous secondary female deities in numerous cultures who were characterised with qualities such as cosmic energy, timeless beauty, divine prophecy, fiery intelligence, intoxicating lust, blind rage, communality and justice.

History teaches us that the worship of a versatile, female deity did not last, at least not officially. Her worship was increasingly suppressed, repressed and forgotten over time. In its place came the classic role-playing of men and women as we still know it today. Fortunately, since the last century

the situation of women in parts of the world has improved politically. Efforts are being made to achieve equal rights and equal treatment. Despite this necessity, little attention is paid to the existentially feminine aspect of creation.

Elisabeth Masé explores this philosophical and cultural anthropological aspect in her group of works. She wants to remind us of an original spiritual femininity, she thinks about unused potentials of female energy and thus wants to influence our imagination.

A possible political statement in the process is left to the viewer. Her new goddesses primarily want to inspire and not instruct.

At the back of the gallery, a darker work by the Swiss artist is on display: A series of watercolours on black paper, capriccios of “brides” in various, sometimes disturbing states and situations. Some of the brides are funny, others disturbed and even aggressive. Because of the emotional discomfort they cause, these works can certainly be interpreted in socio-political terms. Elisabeth Masé thus triggers a sacred cardinal point of society: marriage. She subverts the conventional, sometimes kitschy “dream wedding” and exposes the partly politically generated, dramatic abysses of a pairing in societies that are not equal. An unfree choice of bride, forced by relatives, parents or for religious and political reasons, gives birth to monsters. Nevertheless, Elisabeth Masé clearly appeals to humanity, to capacities for redemption, empathy and emancipation. To a human evolution that can be achieved through spiritual, sexual and socio-political balance.

ART at Berlin - courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery - Elisabeth Mase-min (1)

Courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery

Biographie:

Elisabeth Masé is a multidisciplinary visual artist and author. She is a painter and draughtswoman, takes photographs, makes objects, designs spaces and architectures, produces films and, as a dramaturge, director and scenographer, develops artistic concepts for and with an international dance company. Since 2016, she has been realising participatory art projects in Europe, West Africa and the USA. She studied at the Basel University of Art and Design, HGK/FHNW, where she taught painting and drawing from 1984 to 1997. In 1994 she taught as a visiting professor at the State Academy of Art in Oslo. She has lived and worked in Germany since 1996, and in Berlin since 2012. She has exhibited in Europe and the USA in renowned museums and art associations, including. Kunsthalle Palazzo in Liestal, Halle Sud in Geneva; Kunsthalle Basel; Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Neuchâtel; Kunsthalle Bielefeld and Bielefelder Kunstverein; MARTa Kapelle and Museum MARTa, Herford; Kunstverein Synagoge, Oerlingshausen, Kunstverein Moabit/Galerie Nord as well as Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin; Kunstverein Trieste Contemporanea, Trieste, IT; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York, USA. Her works in public space include “Les Cours Etoilées” in the Faculty of Science at the University of Neuchâtel (with Simon Rösch, architect), “Der Morgen” in the Bielefelder Kunstverein, Museum Waldhof (with Andreas Wannenmacher, architect), and the “Raum der Stille” in the Capella Hospitalis (with BHP Architekten) in Bielefeld. Since 1992, Elisabeth Masé has published bibliophile books and graphic editions, among others at Verlag Kleinheinrich, Münster; her novel “Das schlafende Krokodil” was published in 2021. She has received several awards such as the “Swiss Award” and the “Manor Art Prize” as well as the scholarship at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Her paintings, objects and works on paper are in public and private art collections in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the USA. She is a member of the Swiss Pro Litteris, the BBK and the Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen 1867.

ART at Berlin - courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery - Elisabeth Mase

DIE QUELLE, Masé, 140 x 100cm, 2017, Oil on Canvas

The Goddesses

A conversation between Elisabeth Masé and Thomas Kellein

What is a “New Goddess”?

I am concerned with the creation of female, new icons. I use the term “goddess” because the term “God” has a male connotation. We women, half of humanity after all, have only been able to identify with a male-defined “God” within the monotheistically oriented religions. This weakens our self-esteem. An image of a god is a kind of superego. They are thoroughly male, divine superegos that shape or are supposed to shape our world. I would like to change that.

What are the qualities of a female goddess?

A female goddess has power. For me, she embodies the very primal force. Not in the sense of muscular strength, but in the sense of growth, protection and presence. The quality of this presence can also be negative. My painted goddesses are not always loving and beautiful, they can also be grotesque, aggressive or melancholic. I understand their force in terms of disruption. We all have to cope with positive and negative energies in order to survive. Even the destructive can be purifying and create conditions for the new.

ART at Berlin - courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery - Elisabeth Mase1DIE QUELLE, Masé, 140 x 100cm, 2017, Oil on Canvas 

What would be changed by the image of the “goddess”?

There is always something overwhelming about the mother for the child, whether it is male or female. As an embryo, we develop in the womb, are nourished here and are thrust out into life through birth. The womb is our first space of experience. We are at its mercy, for better or worse. The masculine, the father, comes much later in a creative sense, not even immediately after birth. In spite of this very existential experience of a female “primordial force

the masculine is placed above the feminine in all leading world religions. Why do we have to pray to “God the Father”, “God the Son” and the “Holy Spirit”? What happened to the divine “Mother”, her daughter and a hitherto perhaps unrecognised “holy Creator”? What has been twisted here in many cultures? From my point of view, we live culturally and socially with absurd constructions with masculine connotations, namely the now questioned domination of patriarchy. The word “dominion” already contains the word “master” and an absolutised activity in which only the “master creates”. Not the woman. It is implicitly about the ongoing tyranny over women, about a social system that works almost indissolubly with intimidation, that exploits and oppresses women over millennia. As is well known, this creates stress with war-inducing consequences. We are actually all familiar with the fatal disproportion between “domination”, “master creates” and “motherhood”, which is interpreted as passive. The “mother creates” is still connoted with housework and changing nappies. We should correct that.

What is the effect of such a correction?

My sensation changes when I imagine a “goddess” instead of a “god”. When I think of “the Almighty” instead of “the Almighty”. The male connotation of God is about a distant, all-knowing being enthroned high above, who examines me and, through a predominantly male clergy, rebukes and, if necessary, punishes me. On the other hand, when I think of “the Almighty”, I personally feel a cosmic vastness that embraces me from all directions, not just from above. “The Almighty” looks down on me scrutinisingly – “the Almighty”, on the other hand, envelops me and lets me dive in.

ART at Berlin - courtesy of Luisa Catucci Gallery - Elisabeth Mase2DIE QUELLE, Masé, 140 x 100cm, 2017, Oil on Canvas

What would be improved by the change you have in mind?

I want to judge and intervene in culture, but I clearly think that we always need both: The masculine and the feminine, anode and cathode, transmitter and receiver. Life and the exchange of energy are not possible otherwise. However, I would like to restore the original order. The woman, not the man, is the receiving vessel to create life. She is the goddess who conditions a god who is not always male. He too is born out of her.

A society that recognised the feminine as the “base” and “primordial force” and honoured it accordingly would, in my view, be happier, more pleasurable and more sensual. It sounds like more than a new biologism is being established here.

“Motherhood” is inevitable as a beginning. We don’t really need the “dominion” that follows and the then seemingly eternal “master creates”. The latter, as we know, generates exploitation and war. That is why my “primordial god” is a “goddess”. I would like to place her in the cultural consciousness and also socially at the very front, at the beginning, in all her ambivalence and complexity.

What would happen if such reverence for the origin could be socially established?

There would then be fewer cars and more sex.

 

Vernissage: Monday, 25 January 2023, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Ausstellungsdaten:Monday, 25 January – Saturday, 4 March 2023

To the gallery

 

 

Bildunterschrift Title: Courtesy Luisa Catucci Gallery

Exhibition Elisabeth Masé – Luisa Catucci Gallery | Zeitgenössische Kunst Berlin – Contemporary Art – Ausstellungen Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin

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