Der Blick zurück | a decolonization of unknown women
The current series of works “Der Blick zurück” (The look back) is an artistic examination of colonial and racist stereotypes, longings and “anonymous portraits”.
In 1912, “Das Weib im Leben der Völker” by Albert Friedenthal is published in Berlin. The two volumes gather 1149 illustrations of mostly young women from all parts of the world. The depicted women are described only by their origin and occasionally by their function. Individuals in their own right are transformed into exotic objects of desire, presented like impaled butterflies skewered in a showcase.
The goal of the project is a liberation, a peeling out of the women from the numerous superimpositions of meaning, in order to make a new, autonomous existence possible for them. For this purpose, the entire analog and digital instruments of image generation are used. With the declared goal of finding that magic moment in which a rebirth occurs. To a decolonization of the nameless women.
Many of the women look directly into the camera. “The Look Back” takes up this look, returns it with means of deconstruction, reproduction and intervention. With its revival, the images themselves get their gaze back, unobstructed by projections and no longer trapped between pages of books.
It is a gaze that aims directly into the eyes of the viewer and invites them to look back.