DOING HER - video
25 min (installation in loop)
concept and video
„DOING HER“ is a multidisciplinary project that combines a series of six photographs, a video installation as well as a long-durational interactive live performance. It has been created upon invitation by the curators Julian Denzeler, Lorenz Hubacher and the city of Zurich as a response to and in dialogue with the works of the sculptor Hermann Haller (24 December 1880 - 23 November 1950), who is particularly known for his innumerable, often times life-sized sculptures devoted to the study of the female nude.
Through the project „DOING HER“ Valerie Reding wanted to explore her (female-perceived) body as material, question the stereotype of the feminine, passive muse in opposition to the masculine, active creator and genius as well as reverse the hierarchies and power relations between the performer and the spectator with their voyeuristic potential.
Although most of Haller’s sculptures were made out of coarse-grained terracotta or bronze which both have a rough finish, all of these female figures exude a calm and dreamy energy and due to their closed eyes, welcoming body language and perfected female form, they are very pleasing to the eye and hence can easily be objectified or eroticized by the spectator. In contrast to this, Valerie Reding created and installed a thirty minutes video playing in a loop, in which she is directly and uninterruptedly staring into the camera objective while getting shot by a flash camera. Going through different emotions such as boredom, anger, happiness, sadness and indifference, Valerie Reding confronts the spectator with her own subjectivity and throw the observer back to themselves.