Constanze Ruhm

1965 | Vienna, Austria
Constanze Ruhm — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Courtesy Constanze Ruhm

— Constanze Ruhm

Austrian video artist, director, and author.

The work of Constanze Ruhm covers the fields of installation, film, video, text, and curating. She studied visual arts at the Akademie für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, the Institut für Neue Medien in Frankfurt. She conducts research into the contemporary forms of art practice, particularly by questioning the connections between cinema and new media. She also broaches the themes of female identity and representation, drawing on feminist theory in film studies, which tends to bring the gendered dimension and relationship of domination practised within film productions to the fore by way of repetition, which is one of the fundamental concepts of her work.

She works on images derived, in her view, from a “common pool” of representations stemming from photography, television, and film – art that she describes as a tool for synthesis enabling certain codes to be broken and new ones to be created (Coming Attraction: X Characters [in Search of an Author], 2002). In order to reformulate and render the structures of these collective images visible, she treats the films “like a sketch artist [treats] a live model; she only extracts their essence, only restoring the dynamism of the lines, or better yet, their memory.” X Characters, a project begun in 2002, broaches both the collective subconscious and cinema, through seven legendary women from the modern-day seventh art. Ruhm revives the memory of cult scenes and characters, reformulating their original scripts, with the goal of connecting modern film to film founded on feminist practice. This work was created in large part with the help of the public (using chat, websites, screenings, phone-in radio shows, and workshops) and it is conserved in a virtual space that is accessible to all.

Diane-Sophie Girin

Translated from French by Anna Knight.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
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