Glauben Sie nicht, dass ich eine Amazone bin
Ulrike Rosenbach ( *1943, Germany), one of the first and most influential German video and performance artists, never understood video as merely a tool for documentation. Instead, she used it as an experimental and artistic medium. Rosenbach studied at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts from 1964 to 1970 before creating her first video works in 1971. She taught feminist and media art in California and founded the School for Creative Feminism in Cologne, after her return to Germany. Already in 1972 she began introducing videotapes as “documents of an inner life” with herself as the object and focus of her actions. In her so-called video live actions, she uncovers the structures of female identity while developing strategies for self-determination. She deconstructs femininity as a ”state of image-being” by drawing on traditional imagery of women from the context of visual arts, the media, advertising and cinema. Her sites of action are often marked with materials charged with ritual and symbolism.
In Glauben Sie nicht, dass ich eine Amazone bin (Don’t Believe I’m an Amazon) the artist shoots arrows from a bow at a picture of the Holy Virgin. The image of the Virgin and that of the artist are superimposed on each other, meaning she also shoots at herself. In this work, Rosenbach contrasts two stereotypical images of femininity, that of the Amazon and that of the Holy Virgin, while refusing to identify with either.
Courtesy Ulrike Rosenbach