Friederike Pezold, Die neue leibhaftige Zeichensprache, 1973-77
Friederike Pezold
Die neue leibhaftige Zeichensprache

Friederike Pezold (*1945, Austria) studied art and psychology in Munich. She developed her artistic career as a painter, photographer, filmmaker and video artist. Her interest in body art was fuelled by the use of video, whose technology allows her to stand in front of and behind the camera at the same time, as both the subject and object of the work. This lets her deconstruct the traditional scheme of female model and male painter. In the mid-70s Pezold made several video installations, including Mad- ame Cucumatz I (1975), in which she recycled images from Die neue leibhaftige Zeichensprache to re-create a sort of female totem of five monitors stacked on top of each other. In her approaches toward the image of femininity in other cultures and religions, the artist questions the way in which images are constructed and the symbolic processes adopted by them.

Friederike Pezold performs a meditative work in six parts, in which she inscribes images of her body equally divided into six regions: the genitals (Schamwerk), chest (Brustwerk), thighs (Schenkelwerk), arms (Armwerk), eyes (Augenwerk) and mouth (Mundwerk). Her body is painted white, and several geometric elements, which are painted black, stand out on certain areas, creating a striking contrast of shapes and light intensities. She has two circles on her nipples, a triangle on her vulva, her mouth is equally painted in black and white, as is part of her thighs. Each fragment fully occupies the screen as if viewed through a magnifying glass – the reduced forms creating an effect of abstraction. The female body is trans- formed into minimal graphical signs and is thus released from an erotic and alien- ating reading. Light, slow movements of different body parts create a serene pace that invites the quiet contemplation of a vivid sign language

Courtesy Friederike Pezold, with permission from Wulf Herzogenrath, editor and initiator of the project 40yearsvideoart.de

Format
video, black and white, silent, 55:22 min

Issue date
1973-77

Tags
abstraction, fragmentation, language

Archive Signature
PEZ 1
A
Ebtisam Abdulaziz
Marina Abramović
Helena Almeida
Eleanor Antin
Arahmaiani
Malin Arnell
Oreet Ashery
Augusta Atla
Margarita Azurdia
B
Antonia Baehr
Maja Bajević
Anne Bean
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Tania Bruguera
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Chicks on Speed
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D
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Disband
Ines Doujak
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Yingmei Duan
Kirsten Dufour
E
Diamela Eltit
Rose English
VALIE EXPORT
F
F.F.F.F.
Factory of Found Clothes
Esther Ferrer
Les filles Föllen
Rose Finn-Kelcey
Angelika Fojtuch
Simone Forti
Coco Fusco
G
(e.) Twin Gabriel
Regina José Galindo
Anna Bella Geiger
Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin
Patrycja German
Ghazel
Kate Gilmore
Trine Mee Sook Gleerup
H
Mona Hatoum
Lynn Hershman
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María Teresa Hincapié
Nan Hoover
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Icelandic Love Corporation - Gjörningaklúbburinn
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Elżbieta Jabłońska
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Nicola L
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ORLAN
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P
Gina Pane
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R
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Mierle Laderman Ukeles
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Valie Export Society
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The Waitresses
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Nil Yalter
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