Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Helnwein shows the pubis

Did you know that Gottfried "Helnwein also has a strong sense of theatre. He has worked in opera, designing sets and costumes for Maximilian Schell and working with the equally notorious Austrian choreographer Johann Kresnik. His poster for the 1988 production of Lulu at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg caused outrage across Europe. A tiny Sigmund Freud in a long coat stares up at a gigantic woman, who lifts her skirt to expose her vagina. The opposite of porn, it provocatively illustrates Wedekind's view of a sexually ambiguous bourgeois society on the brink of destruction. This iconography overturns the 1929 screen image of Louise Brooks as Lulu in G W Pabst's Pandora's Box. Whereas that film presents us with a face, Helnwein shows the pubis. "  . . . according to an article by Julia Pascal in the current issue of New Statesman, a very serious British journal.

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