Jun 16 - Aug 7, 2015
Curated By Leah Taylor
Public Reception: Friday, July 24th. Following the Performance in Convocation Hall (7pm).
Wundermärchen brings together a series of photographic stills from Amalie Atkins’ ongoing body of films titled, we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical. This exhibition provides glimpses into Atkins’ secret, fictional world that is fluid in both time and space, a world created by reconstructing, altering and exaggerating autobiographical events until they take the shape of Wundermärchens. A German term, Wundermärchen translates to “wonder tale.” Wundermärchen was “adopted by the Romantics in Germany and the Russian folklorists to characterise the folk tale or fairy tale.”
Using a large format field camera, Atkins captured both staged and spontaneous moments from the film sets, allowing for liminal spaces or meta-narratives to organically develop from her original script. Each photograph contains two distinct elements: raw prairie landscape, and brightly uniformed characters, coalescing to reveal complex issues of the human condition such as survival, strength, loss, anxiety and resistance.
With an all-female cast of characters, Atkins’ nonlinear, intertwining storylines investigate memories, matriarchy, history, folklore and family. From the roller skating army of Valkyries and the Two-Headed Sister, to stoic Aunt Agatha, sisterhood emanates from every image. The oral histories passed down from Atkins’ mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are integral to her narratives. Wundermärchen explores Atkins continuum of interpretations created from her familial stories, linking the present to the past.