zondag 22 juli 2012

Katharina Detzel

Katharina Detzel with a male stuffed dummy of her own making 1914
Insane women had no place in the normal society. They went to mental institutions were they had no voice at all. There were almost twice as much women diagnosed for insanity as men. In the early 1910 women were not taking serious in their artwork, they only had the opportunity to put their creativity in the typical female handcraft. The institutions gave the insane women the special opportunity to make art work as well, but the staff didn´t attended to save and register the made artwork like they did with their male patients. All tough most artwork we have today from women around that era, are products of  these female mental institutions.

Katharina made a life-sized male doll out of the mattress ticking and straw from her bed, which she’d pummel when she was angry or dance with when she felt happy. This male gave her the surrogate love she needed in the institute. 

Katharina was put in the Heidelberg mental institution in 1907 after supposedly sabotaging a railway line as a political protest. Before the Nazis murdered her in 1941, she wrote a play, tried to establish a home for babies, protested against the way the inmates were treated, and created miniature figures out of bread dough she probably chewed herself. More about außsenseiter kunst at Waanzin is vrouwelijk (Dutch)

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