Ulrike Rosenbach

Year of birth, place
1943, Bad Salzdetfurth, Germany
Role at the ZKM
in the collection, in the archives

From 1964 to 1969 Ulrike Rosenbach was trained as a sculptor, as a master student of Joseph Beuys, at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf. Between 1973 and 1976 she travelled extensively in the United States and held various teaching positions, including one at the California Institute of Arts, Valencia, where she taught Feminist Art and Video in the academic year 1975-76. In 1976 she established the »Schule für kreativen Feminismus« in Cologne, which endured until 1982. Rosenbach received numerous international prizes and awards, most recently the 'Kunstpreis des Saarlandes' in 1997. Since 1989 she has been a Professor at the Hochschule der Bildende Künste Saar, Saarbrücken. She lives in the Saarland and in Cologne.

In the late 1960s Rosenbach designed and made her 'Bonnets for a Married Woman' (»Hauben für eine verheiratete Frau«). In 1972 she was one of the first female artists to start using video (which at this point still seemed to her not yet to be defined by gender-specific usage), working with a live video camera in her so-called »action/performances« and »video live actions«. In these she manipulated her own body as an artistic material, making aggressive gestures, or she filmed with a video camera attached to her body. These »action/performances« issued in the production not only videotapes and video installations, but also of objects. Rosenbach has made much use of dissolve techniques, combining film of herself with images of female figures from mythology, the history of religion, poetry and both historical and contemporary reality. She thus addresses the theme of the search for identity, the notion of femininity, and clichés associated with the womanly role and their origin. The relevance of spiritual and alchemical patterns of thought is also demonstrated. 

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1972 »Videoarbeiten, Fotos, Zeichnungen«, Galerie Ernst, Hannover; »Naturkreisaktion«, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, subsequently at Gallery-House, London
1976 »Reflexionen über die Geburt der Venus«, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, subsequently at »And/Or«, Seattle; Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam; Neue Galerie Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen
1983 The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
1989 York Gallery und State Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
1990 »1972-1990, Videoinstallationen, Tapes, Fotoarbeiten, Zeichnungen«, Stadtgalerie, Saarbrücken
1994 Haus der Geschichte, Bonn
1997 »Im Palast der neugeborenen Kinder«, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn; »Last Call für Engel«, Kunstverein, Heilbronn; Museum Schloss Arolsen
Group exhibitions (selection)

1973 »1000 miles from here«, Gallery-House, London, subsequently at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
1974 »Videoshow«, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, subsequently at Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
1977 documenta VI, Kassel
1980 Biennale di Venezia, Venice; »Zeichen und Mythen«, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn
1982 »Kunst als Material«, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
1983 »The Video History Show«, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
1984 Biennale di Venezia, Venice; »von hier aus«, Messegelände, Düsseldorf
1985 »Kunst nach 45«, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
1987 documenta VIII, Kassel
1990 »Kunst nach 68«, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel, Kunstmuseum, Basle
1991 »German Video Art«, Fukuyama Museum of Moden Art, Fukuyama
1995 »RAM - Realität, Anspruch, Medium«, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, subsequently at Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen; Lindenau-Museum Altenburg, Wiesbaden
1997 »Body and Soul«, Kunstmuseum, Bonn

[Konstanze Thümmel, 1997]