Charlotte Rohde

You Loved An Image

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You Loved An Image is a solo show by Charlotte Rohde which presents the outcomes of her activities funded by the Stimuleringsfonds Talent Development Grant. During that funding period, Rohde exhibited in Kassel during documenta.15 and in Cologne in collaboration with Hannah Kuhlmann and Elisabeth Prehn. Works from these two presentations now find a new arrangement in Amsterdam, paired with an essay that Rohde wrote from a deeply personal point of view. Finding itself rather in a beta-version than in a final form, the essay observes the semantics/semiotics of contemporary womanhood™, and mirrors the shown works in their ambiguous confidence and longing for recognition™. This ambiguity peaks in the work Paypal.Me/CharlotteRohde, which references the artist’s idol Bella Hadid as well as the movie The Last Unicorn, in which a witch captures the Unicorn to exhibit it in her midnight carnival. Since a unicorn is only to be recognized by the very few humans, and most unheeding people see merely a horse, the witch puts an illusion on the Unicorn; a second horn seems to appear. Now the audience can see the true nature of the Unicorn – through a lie. Meaning in the case of Paypal.Me/CharlotteRohde: Just because the tears are fake, doesn’t mean I’m not actually sad. But just because I’m actually sad, it doesn’t mean I cannot try to monetize those tears. This exhibition will serve as the conclusion of a work cycle. To foreshadow the new cycle, the object When God Created The Military Wife is already on display. This object was taken from the artists’ grandparent’s house after they both had passed away in late 2022. Being the granddaughter of a major-general and his wife, Rohde witnessed second-handedly what a representational life looks like. The idea of the military wife’s role is to take pride in sacrificing oneself and putting one’s owns needs behind everyone elses. This calligraphic piece, which glorifies that idea, was gifted to my grandmother as a welcome gift from the other military wives, when they were moved to the U.S. in the seventies. In the show You Loved An Image, the Lyrical I of Rohde solely longs to read and be read, while the Actual I tries to write herself out of the compulsory femininity™ which she occasionally (and guiltily) enjoys so much to perform.