video as a female terrain    
by stella rollig

Contemporary art that links the language of everyday life with theoretical analyses of society finds a correspondingly versatile medium in video technology.
In today’s culture the generally accepted form and content of all types of communication come together in (moving) imagery. Focusing on a broad spectrum of image production, the artists (and this exhibition project) take the artistic explorations of the early (also feminist) critique of representation as a point of departure.
<hers> deals with video as female terrain. But the theme is not art by women. The theme is the representation of women in media imagery and narratives.
The artists presented here have grown up with film and TV in a time in which everyone takes the consumption and production of images completely for granted. The development of recording technology has led to a convergence of momentary experience and recollection, reality and virtuality, and culminates as the production and reception of images overlap in the Camcorder that, for some, has become a companion in everyday life.
These artists are no longer convinced that a clear line can be drawn between art and mass media, between individual creativity and collectively accepted clichés, or even between male and female. They are all conversant with (feminist) media critique and the analysis of power inherent in the photographic gaze. They know that the mass media rely on the use of very generalized, stereotype images and statements on which the collective values of society are based. They are also aware of the fact that the information and entertainment industry must constantly find new themes and new forms of visual attraction to keep the audience tuned. Just as commercial culture is forced to keep adapting its images and clichés, our perception and assessment of them – which also provides self-insight – is subject to constant change.
<hers> explores current ways of countering the babble of the media and pictorial stereotypes with individual forms of expression – and this in spite of the awareness that individuality never develops at a remove from "existing conditions". <hers> is an exhibition that invites you to linger and to come back.


_Stella Rollig lives in Vienna as author, art critic and curator. Her professional interests focus on artistic and curatorial practices outside of exhibition institutions, the relationship of art, the mass media and popular culture, socio-political interventions that are developed in the context of art, collective approaches and the issue of role distribution in the art world. In 1994, while she was the Austrian Federal Curator for Visual Arts, she founded the "Depot. Art and Discussion" in Vienna. Teaching activities at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada.

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