Daya Cahen: Birth of a Nation, 2010

Women Video Work(s)

Women Video Work(s)
Cahen - Girl with a gun
Daya Cahen, »Birth Of A Nation«, 2010
© Daya Cahen
Date: 2010
Material/Technique: Digital Betacam, color, stereo, 16:9
Copyright: ©​ Daya Cahen
Cahen’s work »Birth Of A Nation« accompanied the young women of a Russian cadet school near to Moscow. The focal point of the school’s curriculum turns on the formation of an ideal of Russian citizen. In addition to military training, special emphasis is placed on such skills as cooking and sewing, as well as a perfect appearance. The strictness and perfectionist demands of this elite institute are both expression of the search for identity in post-Soviet Russia as well as of the military tradition with its roots in the USSR. Female Red Army soldiers had already taken an active role in the military. The fact that short skirts and a doll-like make-up do not preclude a certain gender-neutral education, may seem strange to the West-European eye, but it nevertheless aptly describes the complex social expectations of these young women.
Daya Cahen
Daya Cahen (born in Amsterdam, 1969) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. She works primarily in the fields of photography and video. Her works have been exhibited, among other things, at Stedelijk Museum, the Videonale in Bonn, as well as at the transmediale, in Berlin. In her video works, the artist focuses on forms of political influence and the systematic manipulation of the human being.
Text and Biography: Sophie Leschik