- KNEBL Jakob Lena, Titta von Tesa, 2010.
Jakob Lena Knebl (1970, Austria) works in the field of performance art and photography utilizing her own body as her primary medium. ‘‘The idea of a binary gender system started to become an ever-growing theme in my work while I was searching for structures that created my own self. I started to place my own transformation into the centre of my work. I consider my photos to be an acquisition, or even a ‘conquest’ of what is ‘ugly’. My self-portraits make the boundaries of gender become hazy.’’ (Knebl)
Jakob Lena Knebl’s photographs are abundant with cheeky and anarchic humour. They show processes of metamorphosis in which the artist reinterprets various roles and figures of an imaginary collective. In Ich bin die Anderen, the distorted faces of dolls address the narrow structures imposed by the definition of gender. Similarly, in Fettecke (Fat Corner), the artist examines the notion of female beauty expressed in the iconography of a reclining Venus throughout art history and at the same time ironically re-enacts Joseph Beuys’s infamous vork of the same title. Knebl destroys the conventions of art history by creating an unsetting self-ironic image between monstruosity, beauty and sensuality. Titta von Tesa and Austria Psycho-Portrait of a Lady directly address the media and literary icons anchored in popular culture. photo. Georg Petermichl.