Kaninchen haben keinen Mund







Review of the Installation at Galerie Zwinger, Berlin
die tageszeitung, 19 March,1994

"Little Blue Fur was no ordinary bunny, she was made of sky-blue fabric with a huge bow of pink silk." Their language works directly on the memory, of the times when you still felt part of their world. The Proust doesn't come into it until much later. The video installation by Akiko Hada connects the two: the bunny as the Corporate Identity of childhood and an erotic object simultaneously. A series of simple actions are shown on two monitors, parallel to each other and yet free from each other. On one of them Hada shows exxagerated, obsessive images of wiry soft toys, cut in with scenes where she cuts the ears off a soft toy or nibbles on its fluffy bum; on the monitor are erotic, quasi-lesbian performance actions with heroines from Hong Kong action movies are mixed, who jump off their motorbikes to the soundtrack of hammond organ. The connecting element is Hada who, in the mean time, keeps herself shut inside a circle of fluffy toys with all her might, dressed in a night dress, almost autistically between her bunnies. In shots without the creatures, she is huddled up, rejected, in the corner of a room. In the second video, however, she is the one taking the acting part, whose hands rips open duvets or caresses a naked body. "We are sisters" is the tile of one of the video prints which are part of the work. And, after a while, one starts to identify with the childish work on the fluffy things, with or without scissors/love. Even the totally torn-up animal suddenly starts to feel so familiar, as if it was the memory of one of your own.

Harald Fricke

Review of the group exhibition "16 Rippen"
at the Gay Museum, Berlin

die tageszeitung, 20 December,1997

Akiko Hada's "Kaninchen haben keinen Mund (Bunnies have no mouth)". The reason behind it is that their mouths are closed shut with black sticky tape. Next to the video monitor, rabbits and other soft toy creatures are squashed inside a glass showcase. Akiko Hada doesn't quite treat the bunnies in a friendly manner. But in fact no one does, and that's why her video installation hits the heart of "being a woman". Any female knows that you are never held so responsible for something as you are for your gender, and never have to take a stance to anything as you must to this fact, about which you just cannot do anything. You learn the horror of being a woman slowly but continually.

And the fun of it, you learn with art. At least that's what the exhibition in the Gay Museum, organised by the Swiss curator Barbara Stauss under the title "16 Rippen (16 Ribs)", shows you. 16 female artists from Great Britain, Japan, USA and Germany look into the phenomenon of how the gender roles own us and how - even if we cannot escape them - we can cheat them in a politically provocating and artistically relevant way.

Sex is in the air when G.B. Jones shows her lesbian prison scenes à la Tom of Finland; when Astrid Chroszielewski lights up her transparent vagina sculptures that look like colourful bear-shaped fruit gums; when Ellen Cantor celebrates the pure sex with her pornographic drawings. The body is examined when Janina Saile photographs menstrating women and Sophie Rickett does the same with pissing women. Fashion comes into the picture with Cornelia Schmidt-Bleek, which she combines with text about the socialisation of her daughter which is trendy in the motherly way. Phyllis Baldino hands over the kitchen to a very innovative craftswoman, while Käthe Kruse simply puts a hairbrush, along with the hair hanging from it, on a white soap dish: The ribs do have quite a bit of flesh on them.

Brigitte Werneburg

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