Katharina Bruns talks to artist Marleen Rothaus about her current project in the parking garage and about the influence of socio-political feminist movements on her artistic work.
For MUR BRUT 21, Marleen Rothaus will design a wall in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf parking garage.
On the occasion of the International Day against Gender-Specific and Patriarchal Violence and the protest marches that take place every year on 25 November under the motto “Reclaim the Night,” the wall in the parking garage will be designed to look like a billboard in a public place. The artist Marleen Rothaus will show a painting reproduced on poster paper under the title After All of the Darkness.
The work, which is aesthetically reminiscent of early modern woodcuts, alludes to depictions of the persecution of witches, which, with their demonizing connotations, were used as a propagandistic means to defame and oppress women. For instance, women allegedly forged pacts with the devil, who can be understood as a figure of resistance against prevailing power structures. Largely neglected in historiography, the persecution of witches represents an unprecedented crusade against female and queer self-determination, which has continued to the present in the form of femicides, for example.
In addition to figures that are borrowed from those early modern woodcuts, there are figures that come from contemporary photographs of feminist activists during International Women’s Day. The panoramic motif represents a timeless amalgamation of feminist struggles and is a symbol of joint protest.
Marleen Rothaus studied painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where she graduated in 2020 as a master class student of Andreas Schulze. She also completed her bachelor’s degree in social work in 2021 and is involved in feminist activism.
Curated by Katharina Bruns
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf parking garage, Grabbeplatz 4, 40213 Düsseldorf
The exhibition is open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.