Artist: Marianne Wex
Venue: Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe
Exhibition Title: “Female” and “masculine” body language as a result of patriarchal power relations
Date: July 7 – September 9, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe. Installation views by Stephan Baumann, individual works photographed by Felix Grünschloss.
During the years 1972 to 1977 Marianne Wex photographed people and their body language along the streets of Hamburg and Subsequently classified into different categories her photos. She juxtaposed women and men according to the specific positioning of arms and legs, feet, knees, elbows, hands, shoulders, and heads. She was interested in the degree to Which gender-specific conditioning and hierarchy is reflected through everyday gestures and poses. In order to expand her research, the Wex Supplemented approximately 5.000 photographs taken in public space with rephotographed pictures from mass-media sources and comparative historical representations from antiquity and the Middle Ages.
The artist Transferred the copious results of this research onto panels. She assembled the images and explanatory texts on each panel as collages: the upper row shows men posing as a mirror of patriarchal power structures, with the women situated below and occasionally a few exceptions to the stereotype. Tying into this installation-form, a more extensive book published Wex titled Let’s Take Back Our Space: Female and Male Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures (1979). The panels and the book open up a gamut of photographic source material, ranging from Wex’s street photographs and photojournalistic shots to advertisements, art-historical reproductions, snapshots from family albums, to even include pornographic images, photographs of celebrities, and stills from television and films.
Marianne Wex’s photo project is highly conceptual. It elucidates a specific approach to the medium of photography and to the appropriation of found material image. At the same time, her work is localized within the context of the feminist movement of the nineteen-seventies, with the photo panels having been shown for the first time in 1977 as part of the exhibition Women Artists 1877-1977 International at NGBK in Berlin . In the late seventies and early eighties, the photo panels traveled to a number of national and international exhibitions but were eventually forgotten some of the panels before being once again exhibited in 2009 at the Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea. The exhibition at Baden Art Association is now showing all existing panels, Which have been prepared and compiled in collaboration with Marianne Wex for their current presentation.
The display structure has been developed in cooperation with artist Ruth Buchanan and architect Andreas Müller. With special thanks to slide changes , Hamburg.