Rosie Won the War
Rosie Won the War by Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock recalls the seminal moment in the history of the 20th century. With America’s engagement in World War II, working women began to dominate the public image at home. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s iconic picture, Rosie the Riveter, Stih and Schnock’s series is a homage to women on the home front working “men’s jobs” in manufacturing plants while men were fighting the enemy in battlefields abroad.
Rosie Won the War depicts powerful women in life-size portraits wearing working gear. Tools in hand define their current occupation. The images capture this particular moment in history seen through the female eye, set in relation to working women today.
The images depict women positioned provocatively like the “Big Nudes” of Helmut Newton, but with very different expression and self-definition. They stand on maps from the past, recalling the topography of World Word II and forming a link between past and present. The portrait series includes paintings based on digital collages of staged photography, mapping structures, drawings, and text.
Complementary to the photo series is the video Counter Attack. Calling upon the image of Rosie the Riveter with one foot on Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, the video shows women’s feet stepping on the Nazi leader’s manifesto with spikes on their feet until it is tattered, and then completely destroyed.