Mythen by Reinhold
Misselbeck (text translated from German)
Christine Webster’s large-format works deal with
myths and traditions that have defined the image of
women and the relationship of the sexes throughout history.
By setting picture and word ambiguously opposite each
other, she alludes to handed-down meanings while at
the same time questioning them in order to suggest new
In so doing, she consciously establishes references
to the tradition Tableau Vivant in Victorian salons.
She herself arrived at these scenes after studying theatre
and began to take pictures of herself and her friends.
In her current work she deliberately plays with the
idea of a voyeuristic look and erotic imagery in order
to arouse interest and simultaneously to pose a critical
Christine Webster is an artist who takes a feminist
stand in her view of the relationship between the sexes.
Despite the complexity of its content, Webster’s
work concentrates on formal execution and perception,
limiting itself to what is essential. Text and picture
are separate, and people, glowing reddish yellow, emerge
from the darkness of black background. Initially she
served as her own model, but today she works more and
more with models.
While it may appear unusual for an artist from New
Zealand to address European myths and traditions, the
discussion of the role of women in society is a topic
discussed in all cultures. Christine Webster’s
art, which has also been successful in Western Europe,
has quickly brought her into contact with the international
© Reinhold Misselbeck 1996, late Curator
of Photography, Museum Ludwig Collection, Cologne and
concept: 20th Century Photography, Museum Ludwig, Taschen,