Persona May, 12th 2022 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 364 - Annemarie Wadlow

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 364 – Annemarie Wadlow
In Stroom The Hague I saw the film ‘I’ve to think not twice, but twice twice’ by Annemarie Wadlow. It was part of the Time-Based program with six films by national and international video artists. In the film you see an investigation by Annemarie into the past of her family, in particular her grandfather and his family.

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Her grandparents had left Germany because as Jews they saw impending developments. That eventually led to the Holocaust. In the film she travels to her grandfather’s former residence in Poland, to visit the family grave. She visits the city of Wroclaw where a large part of her family used to live. She reads out passages from her grandfather’s archive of written memoirs, together with her mother, using a voice-over.

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I talk to her in the cafe of Filmhouse The Hague about the film and about her art. Annemarie: “I am interested how we understand our identity. Where does our personal identity come from? Often identity is something that people struggle with. As an artist it is interesting to investigate this road and where it leads to. I was also very curious about what my family has been through. Why did we have to leave Germany, why did we come to the UK?”

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The film ‘I’ve to think not twice, but twice twice’ focuses on the family archive, a physical collection of material which her grandfather collected about his life and his family, and his wife and her family. “My concept was: leaving home, using the archive as a way to trace my way back home, and create a conversation between generations. I was collecting memories, they have formed my own existence.”

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Lineage and genealogy
She could never ask her grandparents in person, because they died when she was young. “My grandfather became a chemist, at first he studied law in Breslau (now Polish Wroclaw). In France in 1936 he studied Chemical Engineering. He went to the USA and joined the army in 1943, travelling back to Germany in 1945 as part of a War Crimes Investigation Team as an interpreter. He met my grandmother in the US where she worked as a seamstress. Between 1939 -1945/46 she was in the UK working as a maid, although she had studied to be a doctor in Breslau before having to leave the country.”

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Lineage and genealogy is the theme of her work, she says. “What we inherit from people that surround us, particularly for this project it is about family. But I am also interested in the idea that you can to make a choice what you would like to inherit. The theme of inheritance is not necessarily limited to your family, you can also take it broader. For example with people you have a connection with and who inspire you, that could also belong to the field of inheritance.”
So, belonging is a big theme. “Where do you feel at home, where do you belong? This feeling does not have to be limited to a physical place, but can also be about certain people. The concept of home and how we belong is expanded.”

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Key work
Does Annemarie have a key work, and if so, which one is it? She has, and it her master thesis. She graduated from Artistic Research at The Hague Royal Academy in 2020. “I researched three case studies, looking into collective feminist practice in the field of the arts. How do female artists represent other women, in order to imagine liberated futures? It was a matter of reimagining a male dominated way of looking. I analyzed a painting from 1833 of a workshop of women painters by Belgian artist Philippe-Jacques van Brée that depicted an early life-drawing session featuring a nude female model, which was rare at the time.”

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In addition she wrote about images taken at photography workshops hosted by lesbian communes, in the 1970s in the US, accompanied by a poetic essay by the contemporary Australian artist Josephine Mead.
The essay is about women depicting other women and women paying tribute to other women artists that inspired them. Finally she made an experimental video, for which she asked three friends to recite texts by artists that had inspired them, and reflect on how it influenced their lives.

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Annemarie: “This together was a turning point in my artistic practice. We can inherit a lot from people who are not in the same place together, I concluded. This transcends time and space.”

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Artistic identity
Annemarie Wadow is three years an artist. “It started in the Royal Academy, 2018. I had studied art before, in the design field. It was at the London College of Communication, where I studied three years. I worked professionally afterwards in communication & photography. I didn’t make much of my own work back then. It was only here, in The Hague, that I developed a strong sense of my own artistic identity.
Her film in Stroom was her first show in a bigger institution. She is co-founder of Nice Flaps, an artists initiative in the field of experimental life drawing sessions.
1 – 3) Film Still – ‘I’ve to think not twice, but twice twice’ – 2022, 4) Installation shot Stroom – ‘I’ve to think not twice, but twice twice’ – 2022 – image by NaomiMoonlion, 5) Thesis publication – Women Looking at Women Looking at Women – 2020, 6 – 7) Film Still  – ‘Where the voices go, hectic with sun’ – 2020, 8) ‘Barely Visible Threads’ – from Artistic Research Graduation publication ‘Cards from Isolation’ – 2020, 9) Film Still – ‘The Butterfly Dream’ – 2021, 10) Annemarie Wadlow

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