On the occasion of their final exhibition "Rita, Sagen Sie jetzt nichts!", the graduates of the Goldrausch Program 2012, are also hosting a series of events at Kunstverein Tiergarten, Galerie Nord.
Tonight on the program: Goldrausch artists Chryssa Tsampazi and Simone van Dijken, and invited artist Käthe Kruse, will bring us an evening of performances, while tomorrow the whole group of Künstlerinnen will be present at the exhibition space for a talk. Also scheduled for next week is a performance by Hanne Lippard during the closing event on Saturday.
Bpigs met the "Künstlerinnen" in a micro-interview online. We asked them three questions about their engagements with their project and their roles as women nowadays. Each of them answered in their own very unique way, in the language (English or German) they felt more confident using.
And here is what Rita finally said...
- What did you learn during the Goldrausch project?
- What makes a female-only program special in 2012?
- How much of a performance is it to be female today? How much of a play, an act, do you put on during your everyday life as a woman?
It was for me a step towards a better understanding of the German art scene. As well that I found it interesting to come in contact with the other artists who I doubt I would have been involved with otherwise. There is a great variety of experience and opinions within the group, which I find healthy. Art scenes tend to pat each others backs too much, and I think within our group people felt free to voice an honest opinion.
I am still ambivalent towards the emphasis on the idea of a program which is exclusively female, but in the context of Goldrausch it was a good way for me to become more alert as well as critical towards one's position as such within a male dominated field; as long the awareness does not become a blinded obsession. I still consider myself more as an 'equalist' than a feminist.
- It is for both sexes a great daily performance, but unfortunately we are still subject to being deemed as the weakest. Within my work I am not trying to be directly female nor abolish the truth that my ideas stem from a female perspective, but it is however a hard balance. I am a performer and by using my voice it is instantly clear that I am a woman in my work. As Fran Lebowitz says, "even on the phone there is a difference between a male and a female voice".
Das Jahr bei Goldrausch ist sehr intensiv, 15 Künstlerinnen die sich vorher nicht kannten, finden sich 1 Jahr lang mehrmals in der Woche zusammen und arbeiten auf unterschiedlichste Weise miteinander. Das war sehr bereichernd,speziell und auch eigenwillig. Zudem empfinde ich das Goldrausch-Programm als sehr konzentriert und abwechslungsreich.
Generell wäre es für alle Geschlechter hilfreich an dem Goldrausch Projekt teilzunehmen. Leider mangelt es an Projekten dieser Art in Berlin. Es wäre gut sich aussuchen zu können welcher Art einer Gruppe man sich anschließt. Und da ist Goldrausch, speziell für Frauen, ein wichtiger Bestandteil. Und weil es in dem Jahr zu sehr persönlichen Situationen kommt finde ich die Gegenwart von Frauen leichter, als in einer gemischten Gruppe.
- Diese Frage kann ich in 5 Sätzen nicht beantworten.
1. Nicht nur daran zu denken, was der eigenen Karriere zuträglich ist,
ist durchaus OK. Mich selbst ernst, aber nicht zu ernst zu nehmen.
2. 15 special women.
3. The Mimic Octopus? Ich würde das eher entspannt betrachten und weder in Panik noch in Depression verfallen. Gewoon doorgaan. Ich bin mittlerweile in der Lage, über Gockeleien jedweder Art zuschmunzeln, wenn ich sie albern finde oder ihnen aus dem Weg zu gehen, wenn das nicht reicht.
Simone van Dijken performng. Picture by Fred Ernst, courtesy of the artist
When I was in a band with my friend (female) some years ago, after gigs we would get comments such as 'people are probably thinking you're cool, because you're two chicks playing guitar' etc. Apparently the fact that two women can play guitar and form a band was seen as a novelty and a pet project, not to be criticized along the same standards of quality that apply to other bands, which I assume constitute of men. This is The Netherlands around 2005 I am talking about here, by the way. If this way of looking at women, who are working in an artistic field, is being perpetuated by not applying the same standards of quality to them as is done to our male peers, we will be completely stuck in a void where an artistic credibility for a female artist is only retrieved by how she is SO different from her male colleague. Hence, the fact of being a woman becomes an exotic asset, completely merged with her work, which will be this 'exotic female' - tag. And that will be it. So in order for me to be taken serious and valued on my merits, qualities and person-ness, the perpetuation of this view will have to be broken completely. And a way to get closer to this goal is to, paradoxically, promote female artists in Berlin through a yearly program: we are chosen for being artists, but the criterion is that we identify as female. Because of the gender inequality of representation and reward in art, I believe Goldrausch is necessary as a bridging body towards more equality. This equality will not exist because it will have been made mandatory by law, but because of a change in an internalized system of discrimination and validation applied to gender.
1. To show self-confidence concerning my work...
2. It's only for females...
3. What a strange question...
1. I met a lot of great artists and I hope that we will keep ongoing connections happily ever after
2. A female-only program is indeed very special in 2012. You would keep getting comments like "What? It is for female artist only? Women are so successful today, they should start supporting more male artist!" Seriously!
3. Having a lot to do with craftsmen and industrial fabricators in my artistic practice, the tricky part is to get the balls out of my pants again
Angela Ender, Junction Gap, 2012. Picture by Carsten Eisfeld, courtesy of the artist
1. Ich habe zum Beispiel gelernt konkreter über meine Arbeit zu reden, dadurch habe ich weniger Hemmungen vor vielen Menschen über meine Arbeit zu sprechen.
2. Ich denke, es ist wie in den anderen Jahren in Männer dominierten Karrieren immer noch wichtig, auch im 21. Jahrhundert.
3. Meiner Meinung nach nutzen Frauen heutzutage ihre Weiblichkeit wieder mehr als Kraft und sehen weniger einen Nachteil darin.
1. I learned to be more confidant, and stand behind my work, the process of producing a catalogue and website, to be more outgoing with my work and introducing myself to the art network
2. I guess special is to be selected for starters, also to have the opportunity to ask any questions you normally would not dare to ask in the art world, i.e. to have the chance to exchange thoughts with others. To have had the chance to meet 14 other female artists living in Berlin and the support I had during the first 7 month were intense, critical and thankful, furthermore to get a catalogue and a proper website and of course to have the opportunity to be seen to a wide range of people with our group show at Kunstverein Tiergarten and also the GR Network through our Websites, that most of us didnt have before we started the course.
3. Is there any Cliche Idea about a female artist ? I think there is a proper Image created in mind of others regarding the Artist as in male, i guess as a female
we have to work on our presence, i.e. to have a presence in the room in the art world and obviously for me it is important how you carry yourself within the circle
and how you carry yourself in general is important. So rather than it being a performance i would rather be myself - that is the acutual art.
1. Not clear yet...
2. The fact that the program is ONLY for women- it is really hard to be part of a women group in 2012!
3. It completely depends on the occasion... not so much for sure.