Raphaela Vogel, 2012/2019


Raphaela Vogel’s title encapsulates both the playfulness and the agenda of this work: it alludes to a psychological state, but also suggests an authorial, ennobling condition for a woman – the German “Gräfin” translates as countess.

A figure in a darkened room, who seemingly shoots herself from below. Next, a close-up superimposed to a grid: she pins up her long hair, as a light strip moves upward across a glass pane of what seems to be a common flatbed A3-scanner device. Is that still her, the countess’ visage we see on the scanner screen, or is it the reflection of a video rendering? Or, is she instantaneously scanning the video? Is the video scanning the film scanning the psycho-countess-self scanning?

The mirror effect, which structures Psychogräfin, echoes a celebrated formula by Rosalind Krauss. In 1976, she had argued that video is a medium of self-absorption, which urged her “towards the psychological model” to describe video and gave rise to the central question: “The medium of video is narcissism?” She coined a strong simile for (performing) artists’ video: a body centered between two appliances that act as parenthesis: “The first of these is the camera; the second is the monitor, which re-projects the performer’s image with the immediacy of a mirror.” – Elena Zanichelli

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Raphaela Vogel
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio
720px x 540px, 16'50"