Schlangengöttin, 1990

Annette Frick, Schlangengöttin, 1990; Hand printed by the artist on silver gelatin Baryta paper; 5 works framed; Paper: 200 × 120 cm; Frame: 213 × 136 cm

Schlangengöttin (Snake Goddess) consists of five large-scale black and white analog self-portraits that were shot by Annette Frick in 1990 at her studio in Cologne, where she first began studying art. In Schlangengöttin, the artist deals uncompromisingly with themes of representative culture, identity, and censorship. While wearing nylon tights torn into a sheer top, Frick references the fabric draping over the Venus of Baldassarre Peruzzi (1481-1536), which was later extended to cover Venus’s finger because the original depiction showed it rested between her thighs. In Frick’s dynamic postures, the representation of the female body escapes from the mold of Venus’s earlier references – citing also Aphrodite, goddess of love as well as war, to further complicate the gaze on women in mythology and art. Handprinted by the artist on silver gelatin Baryta paper, a method of photography that exposes the photograph not through light but through chemical processes, these prints maintain extensive tonal rages and a silky surface, making them particularly unique.

Photos by Marjorie Brunet Plaza