renate lorenz / pauline boudry, bertha von suttner revisited

renate lorenz / pauline boudry


bertha von suttner revisited

There is a chronological link in the work by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz as well as in Madeleine Bernstorff work. The protagonist is a domestic servant in Victorian times, a time when Bertha von Suttner's activism and lifestyle did not necessarily conform to the tight conventions of the conservative aristocracy. She and her husband were progressive thinkers and fought against war and burgeoning anti-Semitism. The film Normal Work (2007) consists of a restaging of four historical photographs of the servant Hannah Cullwick, in which she adopts poses that traverse different social positions, 'race' and gender. Alongside her job as a cleaner Cullwick produced a series of staged photographs, a medium that was still new at the time, diaries and letters. Hannah Cullwick's portraits and self-portraits, which do not only show her as a servant but also in class or ethnic drag, were part of a sado-masochistic relationship where she and Arthur Munby, an aristocrat, were involved in an unequal and socially deplorable liaison.

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