Since Halloween is all about scary things, here he is, the scariest of them all:
With this Marlene Dietrich and flapper inspired look I wish you all a very happy new year! I can’t believe it’s been a year since the project “ended” (remember, every day is a masquerade).
The 365 Masquerades book is available on blurb.com and I’ll keep posting here whenever I occasionally create a new bonus character.
More news on the personal artist front: I’m now working on new songs and during 2016 I’ll be releasing a new album.
Keep on dreaming, loving and caring ❤️ Gisela
German sparkle party!
Inspiration from/interpretation of: The music video with the same name by The Something Experience – a MUST see!
This is the prologue from the book 365 Masquerades – Every day is a masquerade by Gisela Fleischer.
Buy the book here!
I got the idea to make 365 Masquerades on December 26, 2013. Every day during 2014 I would turn myself into a new and different character. I would attend 365 masquerades in 365 days.
I never hesitated to make reality of this somewhat enormous art project. On the contrary, I felt excited. 45 minutes after the moment I got the idea, 365 Masquerades already had a web domain and accounts on social networks. With so little time left until Day 001 (January 1), it may seem like a crazy thing to go ahead and do. The idea may have struck me like lightning – however, I’m not at all surprised that it did.
My idea was a direct consequence of a deeply rooted personal urge to explore the seemingly endless range of visual expressions possible for the human body. We could be versatile, yet most people (including myself) create a truth of what makes us think ‘this is me, but that is not me’. To cross the lines of the identity borders could be weird, pretentious, silly, scary or even wrong. If doing so, you would be forced out of your comfort zone, thus risking to challenge your illusion of who you are. And yes, that’s what it is – an illusion.
I believe we never just are. There is no default personality. But with the use of visions of what we would like to be, and distinctions towards others, we all create our own illusions of ourselves. We are affected by our prejudices, by the society we live in, and most of all – we are shaped by beauty and lifestyle ideals, and from what social codes and the media constantly tell us what we should like be in order to be accepted. Most people seem careful to fit into that weird category of the normal, as if leaving it isn’t even an option. Is fear of being different obstructing us from exploring what we can also be, and thus potentially are?
For me, 365 Masquerades served as an opportunity to face my own personal illusions. It became a platform on which I could explore any feelings of fear, joy, excitement or creative problem solving I was faced with by changing appearances for 365 days in a row. Regularly leaving my comfort zone to explore my own ‘not me’ made me critically question the ‘me’. I also found myself reflecting consciously more than before on identity, gender roles, art, stereotypes, performativity, what is and what is not considered normal.
The other day I was asked: “Do you feel now like you’ve shattered your self-image completely, after a whole year of constant change?” “Oh no”, I replied. “On the contrary, I feel that this project may have been more about acting out sides of my personality which were already there, than about trying on characters completely separated from myself.”
Is it possible to create something that does not already exist, to some degree, in your conscious or unconscious mind? I don’t believe so. And if it’s not – does it mean there are other possible ways of expressing ourselves, waiting to be either explored or ignored? If we indeed have these possibilities – why don’t we experiment more with ourselves, using the playfulness of change?
I’m thinking again about ‘me’. After 365 Masquerades I feel that I don’t have one. At least there’s no static, change immune and written in stone ‘me’. We all have different illusions of who we are, but we also share the possibility of exploration beyond the self-constructed borders of what we believe we are. We should allow ourselves to play more with visual expression and identity. And we should definitely care less about trying to be ‘normal’. Something constructed has always been constructed by someone. Normality is not a truth – it’s an illusion, a very much constructed one.
Something interesting happens to me every time I transform my body’s surface. Just by putting on clothes, makeup and hair I don’t usually wear, I find myself acting, walking, sitting and behaving in different ways. The difference is big enough to notice, but at the same time I can clearly recognize that I’m still being myself. I’m Gisela, with added layers. Not only do I transform my surface – layers of change appear on a deeper level as well.
So, did 365 Masquerades tear my identity completely apart, leaving me confused of who I am?
More than ever before, I know now what I can be.
I created my Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe quite early into the project, when 365 Masquerades had much less followers than later in. This is a personal favourite of mine and today, 365 days later, I’m giving you a new chance to appreciate it as well!
Three men were invited to give their views on the 365 Masquerades exhibition last night. Here they are: The Feminist Dude, The Professor and The Slob.
It will be good. Be there if you’re in Malmö. At Makeriet, Möllevångsgatan 37. Link to the event HERE. Info in swedish below:
“365 Masquerades – Every day is a masquerade”
FINISSAGE 1 MAJ kl. 18–21 (happenings startar 19:00)
Gisela Fleischers utställning om projektet 365 Masquerades avslutas stort med maskeradfest, artist talk och performance!
Klä ut dig! Klä om dig! Klä upp dig, klä ner dig! Klä ut dig till dig själv, förvandla dig till oigenkännlighet! Byt kön, byt kläder med din kompis. Fri tolkning, kom som du inte är eller precis så som du alltid annars klär ut dig, varje dag. Gör-det-själv-ansiktsmålning och mustaschtillverkning kommer att finnas.
ARTIST TALK (start 19:00)
Konstnären introducerar tankar bakom projektet och besökarna får ställa vilka frågor som helst om projektet. Hur klär man ut sig till Yoda med hjälp av toapapper och tejp? Vilken karaktär var svettigast? Varför vill man klä ut sig varje dag i ett helt år?
PERFORMANCE – Män tolkar 365 Masquerades (direkt efter artist talk)
Konstnären har bjudit in tre män som generöst nog ges möjlighet att få uttrycka sina egna tolkningar av utvalda bilder från projektet. Möt Professorn, Slusken och Feministkillen.
…är öppen (förstås), passa på att se den innan den stänger för gott söndag 3/5!
…finns ett fåtal kvar av den limiterade boken “365 Masquerades”, med projektets alla bilder, numrerad (1-70) och originalillustrerad av konstnären. Även utställningens hundratals fotografier, masker och andra föremål är till salu, från 20 kr och uppåt.
BAR! (cash is king!)
Makeriet och Gisela Fleischer
A greeting from Seattle:
And so, my Courtney Love character got to visit Kurt Cobain’s house. My teenage grunge heart is exploding! Thank you for this picture Renate and Croil!
365 Masquerades the exhibition
Welcome to the book release party and opening of the 365 Masquerades retroactive exhibition TONIGHT: Friday April 24 (@makeriet, Malmö/SWE, 6-10 PM)!
I just counted the number of exhibited physical as well as digital objects included: 199 – but if you count the 365 characters in the digital projection the number is 564. I’m very proud and happy to soon open the biggest exhibition of my life so far, as well as the very much worthy climax to last year’s masquerades, and if this wasn’t enough: The official 365 Masquerades book release party. This will seriously be a great experience – do show up if you can!
Book release + opening of the 365 Masquerades exhibition!
My book has landed in places like USA, Norway, France, Sweden and Germany. The last “review” came from Germany. Lars is writing:
My idea of having a “brief look” kind of backfired, as I went through the complete book from front to back – in total awe of the depth, beauty, creativity, …
– only to go back from back to front again. To a point the cat was literally staring me down in a mixture of non-understanding what I’m doing there, standing in my kitchen without moving at all for such a long time, and disapproval for ignoring him_her for such a long time. And I already knew the pictures/story through Instagram.
Anyhow, I had like a thousand thoughts (and feelings) I’d love to share, and I could but I also like to get some sleep now and then. It’s precious.
Thank you Lars!
Flamingo with big tits
This rare bird is known for nesting in art galleries. Before getting to work, it needs a lot of coffe (like, say, a gallon), otherwise it won’t find the strength to decorate the nest with its collection of masquerade masks and costumes.