printed wikipedia entries, 20cm x 20cm, framed, 2020 – ongoing,
The time of the Gutenberg Galaxy has come to an end, the time of encyclopedias is over. To put it bluntly, one could to put it like this: Information that cannot be found on the web, information that cannot be found on Wikipedia, does not exist for us. Conversely, Johanna Reich makes use of this: Information that can be fed into the net expands our horizons.
Since 2014, I have been working on the photo and video space installation Resurface (Part I -IV), which is based on an archive of internationally recognized women artists of the 19th/20th century who were forgotten within a male-dominated historiography. Through digitization, their works and biographies are gradually reappearing on the internet or have been put online by us on Wikipedia, thus subverting male-dominated art history; Wikipedia functions here as a democratic approach that expands and rewrites the view of history. Johanna Reichs archive currently contains information about 400 women artists.
LINES OF LIFE deals explicitly with the biographies of the women artists of the Resurface I-III project, which can be found on Wikipedia. The work transfers the digitally visible CVs of these artists into analog images. On each sheet, one sees the vita of a female artist printed in minute detail in the smallest font size as a square on top of each other. Depending on the amount of information about this artist, the square becomes blacker or more translucent. The typographic principles of uniformity, continuity and linearity overlap here, language thus becomes a texture, an image.
As background serves the book „Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris Metaphysica, physica atque technica Historia“ of the philosopher Robert Fludd from 1617. In the chapter about the origin he begins with an illustration of the primordial substance „Hyle“, the equivalent to nothingness, which he represents as a black square, which lets light through like „threads, through which tiny horizontal rectangles of light shine“. I take up this thought: the vitae of the women artists are the origin of a „corrected“ and expanded historiography.