Resplendent in a feather dress and a proud, skyward pose, the artist Rita Nowak rises from a freshly excavated foundation pit like a phoenix from the ashes. Her restaging of the old transformation myth symbolizes the entire drama of the changes taking place here, providing an optimistic view toward the result at a moment when it still seems particularly far off.
Rita Nowak’s (* 1979) work is based on the idea of “tableaux vivants,” a form of theater and parlor game that was particularly popular from the 16th to the 19th century. Amateurs and professionals alike would amuse themselves by re-enacting key scenes from famous paintings for the audience to guess at. In her photos, Rita Nowak’s primarily concern is not the composition of famous images as such, but rather the visualization of those moments of magical proximity that arise when she observes historical pictures and the people around her. With her unique power of imagination, Rita Nowak succeeds in bringing locations to life.