2019

#havesafesex

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MADELIEF VAN DE BEEK
print, collage 
MATERIAL
(...) paper
SIZE
42 x 34 cm
When you see the work at first glance it’s quite self-explanatory. There are four dictators, from left to right: Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong, wrapped in condoms. With underneath the image, the written text, and, the title of the work: '#havesafesex.' This work is - if I have to put it in a few words - my twisted humor in perceiving my work as a highly inappropriate ad to endorse safe sex and promote the use of condoms. To put this in retrospective: if Hitler's mother would have used a condom, wouldn't life be better now?
 
That questions is, and will always be, impossible to answer. It's what we call a perfect example of a time paradox. If you would ask ten random people what they would do if they could travel back in time and stop one of those dictators to be born, most of them would probably say yes. In a way, you're almost obligated to do so, aren't you? You could stop the murdering of millions of people. And by doing what? You don't have to kill anyone. You only have to stop their mothers from receiving them in the first place.

But what would that mean for our future? If Hitler wouldn't have seen the light of day, would that mean that Nazism wouldn't have existed? It's no lie that the conditions in Germany before the war and the anti-semitism that lived among the German people where partly the reason that a man as Hitler could take over control. Could it - hyperbolically speaking be - that without a Hitler, another "Hitler" would have taken his place? And who knows, maybe could have won the war? What would that mean? What could it mean? And do we want to know those answers…

The meaning behind ‘#havesafesex’ is as much complicated as it is simple. To look at it from a different perspective: yes, I would happily use a condom to save myself from birthing the new Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, or Mao.
 
The use of the hashtag in the title is to pay homage to the time we live in. The new generation of girls that are fighting for the feminist agenda on the internet, using social media to reach many: celebrating their sexuality, freedom and rights. #freethenipple, #metoo, #timesup, and to stay close to the work: #havesafesex.

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Madelief van de Beek

Visual artist and musician.