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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathSociety
Glauben Sie nicht, daß ich eine Amazone bin (Rosenbach, Ulrike), 1975Madame Cucumatz (Pezold, Frederike), 1970Scham-Werk (Pezold, Frederike), 1973
Die neue leibhaftige Zeichensprache (Pezold, Frederike), 1977Semiotics of the Kitchen (Rosler, Martha), 1975

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in 1968, to make it ‹comprehensible› how the female body is felt all over by men's voyeuristic eyes. In the early 1970s, a number of artists started to work with video as a medium. In this context, video is seen as the ideal medium for emancipation, as it is new and not yet tied down by social and institutional rules. Its technical structure also makes it possible for artists to work more independently with film as a medium than they had previously.[38] In 1972, Ulrike Rosenbach was the first female artist in Germany to get involved with the medium, to model herself and her body and to make a name for herself with feminist videos and performances. «Glauben Sie nicht, dass ich eine Amazone bin» (1976) became one of the first classics of German video art history. In this video performance, Rosenbach aims a bow and arrow at a medieval portrait of the Madonna, which for the artist represents the epitome of the ideal image of the woman: «always young and smooth of skin, innocent and beautiful, with downcast eyes.»[39] But the video dissolve of the


Madonna portrait after being hit by the arrow and Rosenbach's own face shows that the Amazon's arrows hit Rosenbach herself as well. Friederike Pezold's work, including her video sculpture «Madame Cucumatz» (1970– 1975), reduces the screenplay to a «Scham-Werk» (1973–1976) and the performance treatment «Die neue leibhaftige Zeichensprache» (1975) restricts the female body to reduced, almost minimalist symbols. Martha Rosler's video «Semiotics of the Kitchen» (1975) is a feminist reflection on diet and food preparation and also the domestic context of women's work, which the artist shifts into a studio-like kitchen of the kind used for popular cookery programs: a serious-looking woman, the antithesis of the perfect TV housewife, shot full-face, presents an alphabetic encyclopaedia of kitchen utensils. Rosler's tendency towards the banal at the same time corrects the all too puritanical and anemic tendencies of the conceptual art that dominated the 1970s. Thus she paved the way for female media activists like the Guerilla Girls group.

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