With ULRIKE ROSENBACH, JOHANNA REICH and ANGELA BRANDYS, PRISKA PASQUER is presenting three strong female positions at PARIS PHOTO 2018. With their idiosyncratic works, the artists address topical and highly sensitive issues as well as occupying a prominent position in the debate on feminine sexuality. While ULRIKE ROSENBACH has been calling female typifications and gender stereotypes in question since the 1970s, JOHANNA REICH explores the complex shifts in our perception in the age of simulation and hyperreality. ANGELA BRANDYS’ works mirror the hybridity of an increasingly digitised world in which opposites no longer preclude one another but are often present at the same time. Although they belong to different generations, the three women work with similar artistic means. These include the avant-garde use of modern technology, an essentially multimedia approach and including their own bodies directly in their work.
The experimental works of ULRIKE ROSENBACH have been showcased at international exhibitions as well as at documenta 6 (1977) and documenta 8 (1987). ULRIKE ROSENBACH received the Gabriele Münter Prize in 2004. For almost ten years, JOHANNA REICH has been a regular fixture at international exhibitions and prominent video and film festivals. She has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and scholarships, including the Nam June Paik Award and the Konrad von Soest Prize. In 2017, she was presented with the LVR’s Women’s Culture Award. The works of the youngest of the three artists, ANGELA BRANDYS, have only been seen in the United Kingdom to date and will be presented in France for the first time by PRISKA PASQUER at PARIS PHOTO.
ULRIKE ROSENBACH (born 1943), the pioneer of feminist art, has used photography and performance video since 1972. She has been enormously influential for younger generations of artists. Rather than seeing video as a documentation medium, ULRIKE ROSENBACH harnesses it for experimental and artistic purposes. In her “Action/Performances” and “Video Live Actions”, she was one of the first artists – of any gender – to work with live video cameras. The video camera allowed her to better define her role as a woman artist and subject of her own art while challenging traditional female representations. Her themes remain highly topical and relevant.
In her famous series “Art is a Criminal Action” (1969/1970), ULRIKE ROSENBACH launches a frontal attack on male self-representation and art production. The template for this was Andy Warhol’s “Double Elvis” screen printing – depicting a pop icon of mythical, aggressive, sexually charged masculinity. In a radical role reversal, ULRIKE ROSENBACH transforms herself into a female Elvis, thereby dismantling stereotypes of virile self-images and common clichés of femininity.
JOHANNA REICH (born 1977) examines the relationship between reality and simulation. Our time is marked by a flood of images and the simulacrum manifests itself as hyperreality. JOHANNA REICH responds to this with a variety of questions and analyses. With painting, sculpture, performance art, photography, film and experiments with digital technology, she creates new post-digital pictorial spaces that demonstrate the limits of digital image generation again and again.
In her “Heroines” work cycle, JOHANNA REICH asks to what extent role behaviour is generated. Here, she draws on the thinking of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who demonstrated that taste is shaped by social background. The “Heroines” cycle gave rise to the empowerment portraits shown here, with girls and young women creating self-assured portraits of themselves together with their heroines. The pictures were developed with the young women in a digital-analogue process. Superimposing projection and living bodies had the effect of interlocking iconic heroine, image and self-image into wholly new portraits.
Coming from a fashion background, ANGELA BRANDYS (born 1988) works with painting, sculpture and photography. The key characteristic of her work is its hybridity. This applies both to the fashion creations made from found objects and the artistic works in which she explores the complex interplay between physical and mental experience. ANGELA BRANDYS constructs sculpturally focused scenes using her own body or its experiences. Her photos show herself as the onscreen protagonist in her own plot where the subconscious is re-experienced and where the virtual and the physical worlds often overlap through the reprocessing of imagery through the screen.
Like many artists of her generation, ANGELA BRANDYS integrates new media into her work as a matter of course, using her computer or smartphone screen as a tool, stage or even as a frame. In many cases, the switched-on displays illuminate her (self-)enactments in the studio. ANGELA BRANDYS then photographs her shots from the screen and uses them as a basis for further enactments. With this technique, she links the various levels of space and time, not only adding new analogue elements but also integrating the visual effects of shimmering, flickering screens. All of which results in images that are fascinating in their inherent contradiction.