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Ulrike Rosenbach «Or-Phelia»
Ulrike Rosenbach, «Or-Phelia», 1987
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Ulrike Rosenbach «Or-Phelia»Ulrike Rosenbach «Or-Phelia»Ulrike Rosenbach «Or-Phelia»
65*66*147 cm (W*H*D) | 3 Monitore, 3 Laserdisks, 3 Laserdisk-Player, Stahlrahmen, Glasplatte. | Archive / Collection: ZKM, Karlsruhe | 3-channel-videoinstallation; 2-channel-audioinstallation

 Ulrike Rosenbach

'Or-Phelia', a 3 channel video installation, shown in a Cologne church and a crypt as part of the 'Video-Skulptur aktuell und retrospektiv' exhibition, contains a double association even in its title: the mythical demigod Orpheus, who crossed the river to the underworld, and Ophelia, Hamlet's drowning lover, two tragic figures whose mythical, legendary fate is linked with water. But in Ulrike Rosenbach's work, water, with its connotations of death, becomes a live-giving force with an androgynous figure in the water, apparently sleeping or resting, whose silhouette is constantly overlaid and coloured with pulsing veins and flowing blood. Linking our existence back to mythical knowledge and a compete way of life beyond sexual differences is a central concern throughout Ulrike Rosenbach's work. The reconstruction of a whole body using 3 synchronized video images on monitors that are set into a metal structure as if in a coffins, once more strikingly illustrates the artist's analysis of a different relationship between man and utopia, technology and nature. The fact that a relationship that is so much different and much more human remains a utopia is shown when the figure gets up at the end of the tape and leaves the imagined space. The difference between art and life, myth and everyday history continues to exist.