Herstory: Ask Yo Mama

Ina Wudtke had an early interest in female artists in the German-speaking world who in the 1920s and 30s referred to black sound. In the process, she came across the Berlin dancer Valeska Gert, who, influenced by jazz, developed a hypermodern dance performance in Berlin. Kurt Tucholsky had celebrated the dancer in an article in the daily newspaper Weltbühne after he saw her in Berlin. Wudtke used performance photos of Gert as the starting point for her photo installation herstory: Ask Yo Mama. She performs the silables of the sentence Ask-Yo-Ma-Ma on photos and combines this – like in electronic sound production with five variations of this “sample”. She is therefore pointing towards the female continuity of female artists in the German speaking world who work in relation to black sound (herstory instead of history). She also comments on the orality and the performative character of Afro-atlantic culture, which already early on was reflected in dadaism and European modernism.
30 Ink Jet Prints,
black and white, frames
(lime wood black lacquered),
30 cm x 40 cm, Edition of 5, 2011
Herstory: Ask Yo Mama, 2011, Sketch
Herstory:Ask Yo Mama by Ina Wudtke, exhibition view

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Herstory: Ask Yo Mama, 2011