video performance, loop
The video “Virgin`s Land“ shows the artist on a deserted beach, holding in her hands a golden rescue blanket caught by the wind, blowing like a flag.The title of Johanna Reichs work allows various associations. The artist stands on pale sands like a rock in stormy times, offering the emergency blanket to those who might come by sea. At the same time the reflection of the moving golden surface reveals a play of light and shadow, splendid and dazzling, like a medieval picture.
While Johanna Reich appears androgynous or neutral in most of her earlier videos dressed in neutral clothing with hooded tops, here she is deliberately recognizable as a female actor – a female view of the past, the present and the future. The prospect of a new beginning?
Light and space combine in the video work Virgin’s Land, in which Johanna Reich herself stands on a deserted beach. She has her back to the camera and, with outstretched arms, holds a golden life blanket that reflects the light. The artist was inspired by Heinz Mack’s „Sahara Project“ from the 1960s. The film Tele-Mack documents the project, in which the artist experimentally explored the energy and power of light in the Sahara desert. Mack was part of the artist group Zero, which began a new artistic beginning after World War II with Stunde Null. As a female position, Johanna Reich’s video work ties in with the intellectual new beginning. The title Virgin’s Land can be understood as new territory that the artist is treading.
Katharina Grote, 2020