2016

Ute Behrend
Bear Girls


It´s a work about the mind set or mood of girls in the period between childhood and coming of age. I refer to the ambivalent feelings between the desire to hide and the itch to show oneself off.

The story about an Indian tribe serves me as initial source. The bearskin represents a protective suit. In my little story the Indian girls have the opportunity to develop their own concept of the role of a woman that best suits them, unaffected by the outside world.
Parallel to the portraits of the girls I take photographs with a focus on nature, wild animals and the concept of distance and closeness.

I then work on combining these single images to final pairs.

Paired images create a visual echo. Various references in form and content may be discovered in contemplation. An emotional mood-board is evoked by the images that can hardly be verbalised. It gives no explanation as to what triggers off feelings of being moved deeply or even feelings of unease or discomfort. That accounts for the poetic quality of my work.

About the Artist
Ute Behrend (b.1961, Germany) is photographer and video artist based in Cologne, Germany. Her work primarily concentrates on pairing images and book concepts. In 1996, she published her first book called Girls, Some Boys and Other Cookies with Scalo Publishers in Zürich.

Behrend has also received several awards for her works, of some include a commendation for the DGPH Otto Steinert Award in 2000, European award for women photographers in 2002 and the Tokyo Photo Art Prize in 2004.

Behrend is predominately concerned with communication without words, something that touches viewers at a place where they emotionally recognize something familiar, but simultaneously strange.

In addition to her artist projects, she works as an assistant professor for Photography in Cologne.