Sex & Gender

»until now, women have not found themselves, because they have not had their say, in the sense that they have been refused those media. this is how it should be understood when I ask to let women have their say, so that they can find themselves. in order to achieve an image of women that we have defined ourselves and thereby achieve a changed representation of the social function of women, we women have to take part in the construction of reality via the medial building block.«

Valie Export, 1972

»That’s why [I chose] this typical and heavily loaded material: wool. I want to know whether the negative clichés can be overcome if the crafts aspect is no longer part of the whole complex, if the knitting pattern is computer-controlled. I wanted to know why it is that a specific kind of work was considered embarrassing in the past and still is today, whether this depends on the way of dealing with the material, or whether it really depends on the material itself. 
I’ve made new observations: I’ve dealt with the knitting of traditional as well as current patterns, the kind that is offered in women’s magazines. For example, the tartan pattern which is again clearly invested with meaning. And a new perspective on the phenomenon of the pattern began. Often, I saw patterns in the streets that I had dealt with before and found a strange, class-specific correlation of these patterns. I want to pursue this further. But my working with wool accounts for only a small part of my general work, a part that I sometimes engage in more, sometimes less.

Rosemarie Trockel, 1988

It became clear to me how much representation aims at social status and power, and the theme of artificiality and masquerade acquired an ideological background. Those who had themselves portrayed like that intended to look more beautiful, more powerful, or more important than they did in reality. In a certain way, I take up these deceptive strategies of painting by provoking an illusion with false body parts whose falseness I expose at the same time. At first, one thinks one is looking at a painting. Then one recognizes that it is a photograph, and finally it becomes clear that everything is only a masquerade with false tits, wigs, and noses.« 

Cindy Sherman, 1996

Bildrechte: Calder Foundation New York / Foto Stiftung Lehmbruck Museum Foto: Tobias Roch, Hagen Bildrechte: gemeinfrei, Foto: Peter Hinschläger Bildrechte: VG Bild Kunst, Bonn 2014

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