Mathilde ter Heijne

Ellen W., Anna O., Alice W., 2004

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Gelatin silver print in folder,with book Sheet size 46,00 x 60,60 cm Image size 40,20 x 54,70 cm Signed and numbered Edition of 20 + 3 AP

Mathilde ter Heijne (*1969 in Strasbourg ) deals with themes such as the role of women in politically motivated suicides or the representation of female victims of violence and war in the media. She often uses a life-sized mannequin of herself as a stand-in actress in her videos and her works on CD-ROM, and she also does the voice-overs for each of her alter egos. The fields of central importance for her recent work are: woman’s role in society, suicide bombings, trauma therapy, and matriarchy research.

The female figure from Mathilde ter Heijen’s Collector’s Edition is much too big for the little Dutch house she is in. The impression that the room is taken from a Dutch seventeenth-century painting is not a deceptive one, since the photograph is part of a work entitled Small Scale Model of a Home (Vermeer Studio). It is ter Heijne’s reproduction of a classic Vermeer interior, which provides a background for scenes of escalating domestic violence. The photograph is also closely related to a John Tenniel illustration in Alice in Wonderland. Furthermore, the title of the work refers to “Anna O.,” the pseudonym of poet Berta von Pappenheim. The story of her illness served as the material for Sigmund Freud’s case study of female hysteria, and he claimed that she was the first patient ever to be healed through psychoanalysis.