The question of femininity

Lemgo, 10 March 2021. In times of Corona, female and male artists have a particularly hard time - all the more important are funding opportunities such as the Schwalenberg Scholarship for Visual Artists of the Landesverband Lippe. The Kulturagentur therefore received a correspondingly large number of applications. Most of the applicants came from Germany, but there were also applicants from the rest of Europe and even from Iran and China. A new scholarship holder for Schwalenberg was selected - digitally for the first time - by a jury. As always, the selection was difficult, because there were many top-class artists from all areas of the visual arts among the applications.

Members of the jury were the two artists Axel Plöger and Prof. Ernst Thevis from Det-mold, Angela Josephs, press officer of the company Phoenix Contact & Co. KG in Blomberg, Barbara Luetgebrune, cultural editor of the Lippische Landeszeitung, Jörg Düning-Gast, chairman of the Lippe Association, and the two art historians Vera Scheef and Dr. Mayarí Granados from the cultural agency of the Lippe Association.
All applicants were asked to formulate a project for the scholarship period in Schwalenberg and to convince the jury with their works.

In the end, the jury chose the artist Alessia Schuth from Stuttgart. She convinced the jury with her paintings and her fascinating, filigree yet monumental sculptures made of thermoplastic, which she creates with a 3-D pen. She will live and work at Künstlerhaus Schwalenberg from 1 May to 31 October 2021; at the end of the scholarship, her works will be presented at Robert Koepke Haus in Schwalenberg.

Alessia Schuth is concerned with gender roles and has concentrated on working with thermoplastics since completing her studies; the use of this material is unusual in art. Alessia Schuth works with polylactide (PLA), which becomes mouldable by heating and hardens in a few seconds of cooling. For this purpose, she uses a portable 3D printer, which, like a pen, enables two-dimensional drawing, but also drawing in the air. The material remains heat-sensitive even after processing and can thus be further modified in its shape. In the same way, individual fragments can be fused together to expand shapes. This technique produces fascinating, fragile, strange-looking sculptures and pictures that evoke associations with old "female" handicraft techniques such as embroidery and lace-making, as well as criticising the destruction of the environment through the use of large quantities of plastic.

Thematically, Schuth is interested in the historical view of femininity, which is predominantly male, the influence of traditional views on the zeitgeist and the breaking up of gender roles in contemporary society. In her series of paintings "Pussy Diaries" she tries to reinterpret the nude in a painterly way and to detach it from the male view of the female body. This work raised new questions, for example, whether it is at all possible to detach the nude from history when one has grown up in patriarchal structures or whether a reactionary phase does not have to be passed through first before developing a new way of looking at things.

During the six months in Schwalenberg, Alessia Schuth wants to deal with the romanticisation of gender roles in the age of digitalisation: What does it do to a generation that has not fought for women's rights itself, feels liberated and equal, but is presented with stylised, traditional gender roles as role models in social median. How fragile is the progress that has been made?
It is also important to consider the body positivity movement, which reacts to the unrea-listic ideals of beauty for which even top models are reworked in Photoshop. The artist wants to approach these questions in a formally unagitated, calm manner.

Alessia Schuth was born in Villingen-Schwenningen in 1987. She studied at the Kunstakademie in Regensburg with Stefan Göler and Georg Fiederer from 2010-2011 and Fine Arts at the AbK Stuttgart with Prof. Cordula Güdemann and Prof. Rolf Bier from 2012-2020. In February 2020 she obtained her Diploma in Fine Arts, and since 2020 she has had a teaching position in Fine Arts at the AbK Stuttgart. In 2019-2020 she was in the GOPEA funding cohort and from 2016-2020 she had a scholarship from the Cusanuswerk artist funding programme, Bonn, and from 2020-2021 in the Mathilde Planck. teaching position programme, Baden-Württemberg.
Alessia Schuth lives and works in Stuttgart.

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