1 October 1989

A fragment of newspaper bearing a woman's face, that of the artist Barbel Bohley, 'Mother of the Revolution'. The text reads:
According to the artist, there is an 'aggressive atmosphere' which could easily lapse into violence. She blames the SED for this. 'Discussion about reforms, outside the official ...'

Looking out across a flat autumnal landscape, traversed by pylons is a woman in her late thirties. A patch of sunlight on the plain below breaks the blue mist of early evening. The trees are just beginning to turn.

A figure on a medieval rood screen that has been hacked away, leaving only the trees beyond.

Shrouded in mist is a group of figures behind a low screen on which are arranged a lens, a wine glass, a seedpod and an iron hook. At their centre stands the woman, her right hand resting on a slightly distended stomach, her nakedness making visible an old scar which runs vertically down her chest. To the left a man looks aggressively back over his shoulder towards us. Two large heads float in space to her right, those of a young couple taken from the crowd scenes which are already dominating media coverage.

The mixture of genres and the co-existence in a single work of narrative, dramatic, lyric, documentary and essayistic elements, involves a kind of aesthetic 'disharmony'...which opens the work beyond a more or less rigid structure...and favours freedom of observation...

Gianni Rondolino
on Rossellini's 'Voyage to Italy'.

Previous Next