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EIKON #124

EIKON #124

Artists | Laia Abril | Kapwani Kiwanga | Bastian Schwind | Jir Thn | Andrea van der Straeten |

Daniel Blochwitz | Natalia Dobrocka | Pia Draskovits | Nela Eggenberger | Carla Susanne Erdmann | Verena Gamper | Peter Kunitzky | Helena Lang | Christina Natlacen | Margit Neuhold | ORLAN | Nicolas Oxen | Danièle Perrier | Veronika Rudorfer | Tina Schelle | Gudrun Sommer | Raimar Stange | Julia Stellmann

Languages | German / English
Dimensions | 280 x 210 mm
ISBN |  978-3-904083-17-1
96 pages

Price: € 18,00 (incl. 10% VAT)

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  Jiří Thýn | Natalia Dobrocka
  Andrea van der Straeten
| Verena Gamper
  Kapwani Kiwanga
| Danièle Perrier
  Laia Abril
| Pia Draskovits
  Bastian Schwind | Nicolas Oxen


  A Decade of the Blickle Raum Spiegelgasse | Tina Schelle


Étude Documentaire: Le Drapé – Le Baroque, Skaï and Sky and Video| ORLAN


  Anna Vasof | Gudrun Sommer


A Conversation with Renate Bertlmann and Jürgen Klauke | Nela Eggenberger


Flashes of Memory. Photography in the Holocaust | Veronika Rudorfer
Cindy Sherman. Anti-Fashion | Carla Susanne Erdmann
Werner Bischof. Unseen Colour & Rosellina. Living for Photography | Daniel Blochwitz
Isaac Julien. What Freedom Is To Me | Julia Stellmann
Focus! Click! Maria Austria. Photographer in Exile | Christina Natlacen
Candice Breitz. Whiteface | Raimar Stange


with Lars Willumeit


Oliver Frank Chanarin. A Perfect Sentence


Jürgen Beck. Sun Breakers | Margit Neuhold
Hans-Michael Koetzle. Reden wir über Fotografie | Peter Kunitzky


At least in Western democracies, it seems that fluid identities are now socially accepted to the extent that even fashion chains can commercially exploit concepts such as Pride Month; the awareness of the constructed nature of social gender has thus finally arrived in the mainstream. This was, of course, preceded by a long process in which, in addition to an active subculture, artists were also involved through their targeted questioning of role stereotypes. Photography, as a mirror of—a now increasingly dubious—reality, has always played a key role in this process.

With “Questioning Queerness,” the motto of this issue in response to the strong presence of the LGBTQIA+ community, the focus is placed on the questioning of gender constructions, using the example of the oeuvres of two jubilarians who negotiated this topic long before today’s debates: Some fifty years ago, Renate Bertlmann and Jürgen Klauke, both born in 1943, were already deeply engaged with the theme of sexual identity. Although the currently discussed terms were far from being defined at the time, the early works of both artists already visualized many of the ideas that drive society today. Jürgen Klauke, for example, was interested in “breaking up entrenched gender identities in order to expose a binary logic of sexuality as inadequate and thus to unsettle normative ideal images of gender—whether in relation to masculinity or femininity—by means of an anagrammatization of the body” (Elisabeth Bronfen). In the work of Renate Bertlmann these same ambivalences are perhaps most clearly seen in the act of inversion, as practiced with her latex works: This demonstrates “that form and content are identical or, rather, that the distinction between them simply does not exist. [...] Pacifier and condom, penis and vagina are just fluctuating picture-puzzle formations of a single, flexible material, a soft skin” (Katharina Sykora).

With the works of Bertlmann and Klauke, one can also experience, in addition to so much else that must remain unmentioned here, how entrenched cliches can probably best be dispelled,namely with a certain lightness and a sense of humor.

Nela Eggenberger
for EIKON, November 2023

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