Born in Wien (Austria), 1945
Lives & works in Wien (Austria)
Very active in: 70s

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Central to the artistic work of Friederike Pezold is the detailed exploration of the female body and femininity as such. After studying art and philosophy in Munich, she begins her artistic career in the late 1960's. In drawings, paintings and photography she works on a newly created 'sensual architecture' deriving forms and figures from the contours of the female body.

In the early 70s Pezold eventually discovers video as a medium of artistic expression. She creates her first video-graphics and starts working on Die Neue Leibhaftige Zeichensprache (The New Embodied Sign Language). In this video she fragments her own body, offering a detailed gaze on each part. Her genitalia, her breasts, her thighs, her eyes and her mouth - all painted in black and white - are presented separately in long sequences. By her slow movements she evokes different images, letting the female body transform into a set of abstract signs.

Pezold's video work critically challenges the role of the woman and her corporeality, yet she does not subscribe to the classical feminist discourse of the 70's. Through the incorporation of oriental and occidental aesthetics or nature and technology, the abstractions and reductions of the body rather evolve into a female mythology identifying the archaic role of women in natural, cultural and religious life.

Later in the 70s Pezold enhances her approach to a female aesthetic and creates the video sculpture Madame Cucumatz I: imagines displayed in five TV monitors positioned on top of each other compose a female body, nevertheless the individual imagines are autonomous.

Video, for the artist, presents a further development of the pencil, whereas the moving image becomes the drawing. Yet, it allows breaking the classical dualism of painter and model, subject and object, it allows to overcome time and space and therefore to deconstruct the composure of images.

In 1995 Friederike Pezold founds the First Vienna Museum of Video Art & Body Art.
Katharina Krause