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In its current exhibition, Villa Schöningen is showing female bodies from the point of view of female artists from five centuries. Alongside landscapes, portraits and religious themes, the female nude is one of the most frequently depicted motifs in art history. From the Venus of Willendorf in front
From 25,000 years to the present day performances and video installations, the naked body has fascinated artists over the centuries. Time and again, dealing with nudity and eros was also an exploration of taboos and a fascinating indicator of the sense of time. Acts have shaped art history like a sensor of the constitution of freedom of a society or epoch: restrained, ashamed, idealizing, sexualizing, politicizing, violent, tender, ugly or disturbing. Whether the “Maja” by Goya, the “Olympia” by Manet or “L'Origine du Monde” by Courbet and “Les Demoiselles d Avignon” by Picasso, it was always nudes that provoked art scandals and explored new stylistic territory.

Under the title “Nude - Female Bodies By Female Artists”, the female body will be shown from May 4 to October 1, 2019 in the Villa Schöningen in Potsdam, exclusively in depictions by female artists. Almost all forms of sculpture, drawing, painting, photography and video are represented. The main question is whether there is such a thing as a specifically female view of the naked body. Or whether such stereotyping in the feminist context characterizes visual patterns that do not stand up to a prejudice-free view beyond gender clichés.

Press release Villa Schöningen


Marina Abramovic

Vanessa Beecroft

Huma Bhabha

Juno Calypso

Diana de Rose

Marion Fink

Maria Gimenez

Natalia Gontcharova

Barbara Hammer

Dorothy Iannone

Anne Imhof

Marie-Jo Lafontaine

Madeleine-Jeanne Lemaire

Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen

Jeanne Mammen

Ana Mendieta

Paula Modersohn-Becker

Signe Pierce

Anita Rée

Ashley Hans Scheirl

Carolee Schneeman

Lara Schnitger

Suzanna Scott

Deborah Sengl

Cindy Sherman

Elisabetta Sirani

Elaine Sturtevant

Anna-Stina Treumund

Mickalene Thomas

Rosemarie Trockel

Anna Uddenberg

Amber Wellmann

Hannah Wilke

Sue Williams

Martha Wilson

Alison Zuckerman


The Seer and the Seen


Curated by Sonia González

Trulee Hall

Marcel Duchamp

Albrecht Dürer

Pompeo Massani

Edvard Munch

Diana de Rosa

Franz von Stuck

Holy Madonna or provocative whore - for a long time the predominant images of femininity that appeared in art. The American artist Trulee Hall also picked it up in her video work Two Tongues Duel the Corn Whores, An Opera, which can be seen in the context of this exhibition.

The opera - with a beatboxer as the narrator's voice - tells of the tense duel of the two clashing images of femininity, the Madonna and the whore. The struggle takes place in masturbation, striptease, domestic martyrdom, and a ritual of flawless conception. In the narrator's monological chant, the phrase The Seer and the Seen is used, giving the title of the current exhibition.

Because Hall is not only concerned with depicting gender and sexuality, she is also concerned with the relationship between subject and object, between what is seen and what is seen. Who are the observers, who are the observers? Is seeing an aesthetic or a moral judgment - or even a voyeuristic act?

Hall works with multimedia; she often stages her sculptures, paintings and videos in rooms that are reminiscent of theatrical backdrops. In her video works, live recordings, computer animations and stop-motion films, which are created with the help of clay figures, come together. In this way, she blurs the boundaries between the real and the fictitious.

The works of the 45-year-old artist have already been exhibited at the FRIEZE art fair in Los Angeles. The Zabludowicz Collection in London dedicated a solo exhibition to her in 2020, during which she produced the opera together with her. Villa Schöningen is now showing its works in Germany for the first time.

The characters in Hall's works emancipate themselves from their role as objects that only exist to be seen. This becomes all the more clear in the context of the old masters, with whom Hall's works are contrasted in the current exhibition. While the apple bite leads to ruin in Albrecht Dürer's Fall, Trulee Hall's interpretation of Eva already has the second apple ready for enjoyable consumption.

Her figures rise above the social gaze assigned to them, her works offer new patterns of interpretation for what has been seen, for what has been seen. In her pictorial worlds, the relationship between lakes and lakes is not a violent one, but rather unfolds an emancipating potential.

The Seer and the Seen

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