Gabriele Stötzer (*1953, Germany; married name Kachold from 1973-79) was a member of the GDR’s experimental Super 8 scene in the 1980s. She primarily worked with other artists in her circle of friends, using archaic image structures to arrive at new models of femininity. Her camera breathed down the neck of her subjects, which often included her own naked body. In 1980, she began creating multi-media, interdisciplinary art. She consistently and radically created her own pictorial language, rebelled against the official role of women in the GDR and subverted the fixed ideas of women in patriarchy in her art. Her confrontational attitude in her search for female utopian worlds in the GDR brought legal repercussions and vehement rejection from her fellow artists. In 1977 she spent a year in jail for signing a petition against the SED government’s stripping of songwriter Wolf Biermann’s citizenship and afterwards became the director of the privately managed gallery, Galerie im Flur until it was forced to close down in 1981. In 1984, she helped form one of the few groups of women artists in the GDR, Exterra XX (1983-89). The group developed films and fashion shows in an attempt to establish a niche in public space where life and art could merge in a sensual way.
In his anthropometries, the French artist Yves Klein used naked models covered with blue paint to make prints of their bodies on a canvas. In Abwicklung (Staging), Gabriele Stötzer adopted this 20 years later as an act of liberation, leaving prints of her ketchup-covered body on paper walls to create a likeness of herself outside the constraints of the state doctrine.
Courtesy Gabriele Stötzer