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image by
Isabelle Wenzel

from the series
“You can´t stop me now”

Mummy makes her little girl to be like that.

Sometimes I need vacation from artwork made by photographers and the technical immaculateness of their images.
Sometimes I need a time off a reality, that looks as if photographed in a studio. Everything being under control, so it seems.
Sometimes I am suffocated by the limitations of photographer’s photography.
More important than the above, sometimes I am just tired of the limitations of my own photography.
I was in this state of mind some days ago when I stumbled over
Isabelle Wenzel´s homepage
(via the sonic blog).

Chaos is obviously a topic of her. Isabelle Wenzels images are produced in rooms she has occupied for her production. The traces of the work done become integral parts of her imagery.

Improvised backdrops, color smudges and left over photocopies. On the floor papers, undefined junk. They all become perfect parts of her orchestration.
The artificial becomes an everyday touch.

Mummy wouldn´t want her little girl to be like that.

A few of Isabelle Wenzels images are called “Bumbsbuden”. She wrote me this word is not to be translated. But googling it, I found the complaint of a wife her husband betraying her with other women in an appartement used for fuck affaires, I found a pornographic image with a women allegedly stating her submissive phantasies, and I found statements of men talking about slovenly, sloppy holes where they were keeping up some sort of male freedom.

A woman is using here female models enacting her phantasies. I see huge breasts, I see balloons with lots of nipples, I see legs and nothing but legs, I see female bodies contorted into helplessness.

I see images reflecting possible fears; I see images reflecting an existing role model of submissiveness and exploitation.

Isabelle Wenzels video “Building Images” could support this interpretation.

A woman dressed properly for business she might be a secretary lots of papers all over her she jumps in her position on a chair on her back her legs pedaling in air now we could fuck her never ever having seen her face.

Isabelle Wenzel mentioned in a mail that she is pulling out her images from an archive according to the room she is installing her work. Her homepage isn´t reflecting this fact, so there are some loose ends and it is hard to imagine for me how her installations really come out.

But actually, I was caught by the strength of her single images.
I was caught by the colors she is using; I was caught by everyday elements in surreal situations reflecting everyday reality, I was caught by her formal strength balancing on the edge of chaos, and I loved the connections that came to my mind, right or wrong, to Hans Bellmers puppets, to Cindy Shermans game with the female image, and the visual nonchalance I love in Urs Lüthi work.

I could go on now, I could talk about Hans Bellmers obsessions as I could talk about Lüthis humorous game with the definition of maleness, I could talk about the softness in his imagery and then come to the aggression I sense in Isabelle Wenzels work, I could go on relating here, relating there,
but I don´t.
Isabelle Wenzel has a visual language distinctly her own, a rare trove to be found.