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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Julika Rudelius

Amsterdam,
Netherlands

Julika Rudelius (b. 1968) was born in Cologne, Germany. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam from 1994-1998.

Rudelius has had solo exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam; Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Maastricht, Netherlands; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Reinhard Hauff Galerie, Stuttgart, Denmark; Galerie Manuela Klercks, Milan; Grazer Kunstverein, Austria; The John Institute, Zurich, Switzerland; Bard Museum at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, USA; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Bruxelles, Belgium; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands; Figge von Rosen Gallery, Cologne, Germany, and the Swiss Institute in New York City.

She is represented by Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam.

Feminist Artist Statement

While I do consider myself a feminist, I’m not sure if I would call my work feminist. I think the meaning of “feminist art” has changed a lot since the major feminist projects of the 1960s and ‘70s. For my works in film and video, I take up a range of attitudes and roles – director, interviewer, instigator, interrogator, ethnographer, etc.– that were unavailable to women artists prior to the earlier feminist movements. My work often requires me to approach strangers on the street, where I ask them to participate in interviews and staged performances that require them to reveal highly personal information. While informal bargaining and solicitation have for a long time been a part of the economic and social lives of women, I engage in these tactics openly as a basic component of my practice. In that sense, I see myself as following the feminists who first made available these powers of mobility and exchange, operating somewhere between sociological manipulation and realistic portraiture—between fiction and documentary.

In a number of projects, I’ve dealt directly with issues related to women’s lives and sexuality. For example, my video Train (2001), shot aboard a passenger train, features a group of young guys who brag and rant about their sexual exploits from a typically adolescent-male point of view. I purposely filmed their conversation from the perspective of a voyeuristic fellow rider so that viewers have to sort out whether they believe the video is a documentary or a staged performance. In fact, while the dialogue was improvised, the scene was carefully staged. Prior to the shoot, I had instructed the four teenagers, whom I’d recently met on the street, to participate in an interview with me about girls and sex, but to exaggerate their opinions. My questions to them were edited out of the final cut.

The work I showed in the Global Feminisms exhibition, Tagged (2003), focuses on a group of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, all young men, and their obsession with name-brand clothing. Dressing and preening for the camera, they talk about the extravagant cost of their garments and the social capital they hope to accrue by flaunting their wealth. While espousing typically macho ambitions, the boys appear to outsiders as dandyish, even effeminate, enmeshed in the drama of assimilation. Tagged suspends judgment on the boys’ obsessive macho-dandyism, putting the burden of commentary on viewers, and along with it, self-awareness.

<p>Economic primacy</p>

Economic primacy

I selected five men for the video: a lawyer, a spin-doctor, a media advisor, a millionaire and a top manager. They are filmed pacing about in a generic office space that was specially constructed for the video. While they appear talking to themselves, they are in fact responding to questions I am asking them over a hands-free phone. In their ‘monologues’ they talk about the importance and omnipotence of money.

Economic primacy

I selected five men for the video: a lawyer, a spin-doctor, a media advisor, a millionaire and a top manager. They are filmed pacing about in a generic office space that was specially constructed for the video. While they appear talking to themselves, they are in fact responding to questions I am asking them over a hands-free phone. In their ‘monologues’ they talk about the importance and omnipotence of money.

Tagged

I invited young men who spend a lot of money on clothes to bring their wardrobes to a generic hotel room, specially constructed for the video. While changing into different outfits they talk about their backgrounds, their addiction to clothes, and about the price they pay.

The highest point

I placed an ad in newspapers asking for women who want to talk about their sexuality. Over 30 women responded. Many explained that they wished to create a different image of sexuality than that found in current media. All the women were filmed in the same place; a place that suggests both a private house and a consulting room. The women describe their orgasms in dry and technical language while demonstrating the positions they would generally use.

Train

I invited a group of young men on the street to be in a video in which they would talk about women and love. During the filming I lead the conversation through questions (not audible in the video), but without a script. The roles they played are close to their own roles in the group, but I asked them to exaggerate certain parts of their opinions on women. The video was shot in a train.

Your Blood Is As Red As Mine

A series of staged interviews and situations dealing with skin color and representation of ‘the other’. At certain moments I took large format photographs from the same viewpoint as the video camera. Some of the photographs are shown along with the video.

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Text, images, audio, and/or video in the Feminist Art Base are copyrighted by the contributing artists unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.