Abner Preis: The Mask Maker and the Tree

HMKV Video of the Month

HMKV Video of the Month November 2020 online!

On view 1–30 November 2020

The video The Mask Maker and the Tree by Abner Preis is an adaptation of an old folk tale. Every year, the villagers go out into the forest to cut down a beautiful tree from which they make happy masks. They have to walk a long way, because near the village they have already cut down the forest. One day, however, a selected tree resists being felled. On one condition, the villagers are finally allowed to cut down the old tree: They must wear the happy masks made from the tree forever. Since no new masks are needed now, no more trees have to be felled.
The video was created during a three-day workshop in which about fifty people participated. Preis asked the very diverse participants - most of them from the Amsterdam-North district - to play the villagers like zombies. For the artist, the zombie stands for conditioned functioning in society and distance to nature. The workshop was not filmed in the forest, but at the NDSM shipyard in Amsterdam-North. (IA)

Abner Preis (IL, 1975) is a visual artist and storyteller. He works with various media, including drawings, performances, installations, videos and photographs. Characteristic of his oeuvre is that the stories are always told with the participation of the audience. Preis completed his studies at the Dutch Art Institute in 2013. Exhibitions and screenings at Art Rotterdam, Filmhuis Den Haag, Grace Exhibition Space New York, Museum Quartier Wien, Human Cities Festival Istanbul and Scope Miami, among others. In 2014 Abner Preis took part in the exhibition Evil Clowns with a major new production filmed on site at HMKV. Most recently, his work The Clown was shown in the HMKV exhibition 25 of 78 (2020).

In the series HMKV Video of the Month, HMKV presents in monthly rotation current video works by international artists - selected by Inke Arns.

Abner Preis
The Mask Maker and the Tree

2017, 19:34 min.

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