78.2 x 114.4 cm
Giclée print on paper
Collction Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Purchase made possible by Club Fonds Konkret
Sadie Murdoch (born 1965 in Hexham, UK, lives in London, UK) is both an artist as well as a lecturer at Goldsmiths College in London. She draws on her academic work in her art, which explores how art history has been written. Murdoch focuses primarily on pioneering women modernist artists by criticizing the small number of women present in the traditional historical treatment of Dadaism and Surrealism. She works with photographic archives, decoding materials and reassembling them according to feminist criteria. Murdoch slips into the roles of all but forgotten modernist heroines and captures their poses in staged photographs, which are sometimes black and white, sometimes in color. She combines pictorial fragments of her own body with fragments of historical pictures – for example, of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven or Josephine Baker. Murdoch’s artistic appropriation thus literally becomes a physical occupation of these historical works. The printed reproductions of the original pictures are enlarged to fit her body and are cropped in such a way that her own photographed body parts compositionally merge with each archival photograph. She thus restages the photographs, colors her skin to fit the shade of gray in the original, and integrates her body into the collages.
For the collage “Immprrecision Optics” in the collection of the Haus Konstruktiv, Sadie Murdoch worked with photographs of “Rotoreliefs” that were developed by Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray in 1926 and the “Bar Aubette” designed by Sophie Taeuber-Arp in 1927/28.
Using her own engagement with the archive materials as a starting point, Murdoch investigates how the reception of modernism is constructed. She describes her working process as “inhabiting” or “appropriating” the archive: Instead of imitating selected scenes and poses exactly, she adds small deviations and manipulations that cause reality and fiction, painting and historical photograph to blend together.
Dominique von Burg