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Renate Bertlmann



Exhibition view, Renate Bertlmann, “Angst“, 2017, © Rainer Iglar

Renate Bertlmann’s solo exhibition at FOTOHOF entitled “Angst“ (Fear) combines photographic works, videos, and installation-based staged settings spanning four decades. The selection follows the logic of her comprehensive multimedia feminist-subversive oeuvre applied to questions of time. The original title, “Rape“, was subsequently abandoned in favour of “Angst“ and referenced several of Bertlmann’s works: photographic works of recent years (e.g. “Braut und Bräutigam“ (Bride and Groom, 2013), but also fundamental series from the 1970s, e.g. “Renée ou René“ (Rape) from 1977, which generally speaking address the quantum of violence in the social relationship between the genders, beyond the erotic allure of rituals of dominance and submission.
In the spatial combination of photographs, videos and objects, “Angst“ ambiguously encapsulates as a social state a widespread pleasure and desire derived from the fear of the other, time and again erotically charged in a way that is both cryptic and enigmatic.
In 2017 Bertlmann received the Grand Austrian State Prize, which is awarded annually for an artist’s life work.

Renate Bertlmann, “Rape - Triptychon“, 2013, digital Photo on Dibond, each 70 x 105 cm
Renate Bertlmann, “Die Rache der Braut“, from the series: “Der Fehdehandschuhe“, 2010, digital Photo on Dibond, 37,5 × 50 cm