Passionately Detached

2006/12 / Video / PAL / 09:30 min. color / silent

The idea for this video in 2006 originated from the artist’s spontaneous, intuitive impulse to climb one of the innumerable naturalistic larger-than-life bronze sculptures found in public places. The pose, gesture, and facial expression of these (mostly) masculine figures demonstrate the traditionally male-oriented symbolism for power and knowledge typical of the time. The urge to physically confront and overcome this symbolism face to face was almost irresistible.

However, the artist did resist the urge of spontaneous ascent, deciding instead to prepare herself sufficiently for the task.

The video is a collage depicting the professionalization of women as well as appropriation of knowledge and power. With sudden changes in perspective and shifts in proportion, it is a bold venture.

The title refers to an expression used in feminist film theory of the 1970s by the film theorist and critic Laura Mulvey. Mulvey used passionate detachment to describe an ideal approach to watching film:

"[...] the feminist film critic should be passionately engaged with the cinema as an object of study and a cultural artifact of huge importance, she must simultaneously keep her critical distance so that she can recognise the machinations of patriarchy under the guise of pleasurable entertainment.“


*Melanie Williams, Hull University, 1997, UK

Video: PAL / 4:3 / 09:30 min.
Performers: Marion Porten, Astrid Sturm
Director of Photography: Inka Perl, Julia Schäfer
Video material was recorded in 2006

Video stills
Video stills