Skip to main content

Come una pupilla al variare della luce

Event Label
Organisational Units
Fine Arts
Location Description
Belvedere 21
Arsenalstraße 1
1030 Wien

Exhibition by Constanze Ruhm, Professor of Art and Digital Media.

In her latest exhibition, Constanze Ruhm sets out in search of a feminist way of seeing, aiming to shatter the male gaze and patriarchal image regime. In doing so she scrutinizes which connections to historic moments and figures from feminist movements are suited to being revisited and projected into the future.

The artist has chosen the broken mirror as a figure, visual metaphor, and as the layout of the exhibition at the Belvedere 21. It is rich in symbolism: the destruction of an ideal of beauty encapsulated by reflections in the mirror and their permanent appraisal; the fragmentation of a linear temporality; the painful shattering of a female self-image through violence, combined with the search for a new constellation, which has yet to be found but needs to remain always open and fragmentary. Last but not least, the mirror travels through time (uno specchio che viaggia nel tempo): images from cinema, photography, from the history of painting all appear reflected in its surface.

In twonewly devised video installations, a series of photos, the arranging of archival material, and the presentation of works by other feminist artists from the beginnings of the Italian women’s movement in the 1970s—such as Suzanne Santoro and Marinella Pirelli—Constanze Ruhm makes feminist art and film history visible in the mirror of contemporary art. One of the key figures in Ruhm’s exhibition is the Italian feminist Carla Lonzi with her concept of a fractured, fragmented temporality as a way of arriving at a different kind of image, film, and ultimately consciousness.

After this shattering, the goal is to employ performative rituals, theatrical evocations, and ambiguous signals to piece the fragments of the puzzle together again, creating a different  body and thus contributing to the rewriting of (feminist) history.

Curated by Claudia Slanar.

Constanze Ruhm was born in Vienna in 1965 and lives in Vienna and Berlin.

She is an artist, filmmaker, author, and curator. From 2004 to 2006, she was Professor of Film and Video at the Merz Akademie Stuttgart, and since 2006 she has been Professor of Art and Digital Media at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her works have been shown at international exhibitions and at film festivals, including the ZKM, Karlsruhe; the Berlinale, Berlin; Kunsthalle Bern, the Biennale di Venezia, the Museo Nacional Centro di Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Duisburger Filmwoche, the New Horizons Film Festival, Wrocław, and the FID (International Film Festival) Marseille.