In 1977, Gerhard Richter painted his daughter after a photo. The Betty picture (425/4) which he created is obviously an eye catcher. In this cultural studies research project, the picture itself is comprehended as a research finding. In this regard, the focus of the current study, which analyses this artistic piece in terms of its relationship structures, is on the confusion and irritations which occur repeatedly when it is being observed (e.g. in the context of the documenta XII exhibition). One potential of Betty is contained specifically in the destruction of established cultural phantasms.
The various interpretative facets are summarised under the headings of "violence", "looks", and "change of position", as well as "child and woman":
The thematic addressing of violent and sexual aspects in the imagination of a child who is in the process of becoming a woman seems to succeed emphatically with Betty through the use of artistic means. The image would then be the displayed result of an implicit processing of such transitions; it produces a stumbling – also in the writings about it.
The project publication has been published under the title "B – Blickfänger" (B – Eye Catcher) in the series "Kleiner Stimmungs-Atlas in Einzelbänden" (Small Atlas of Moods in Individual Volumes), Textem-Verlag publishing house, Hamburg.
Prof. Dr. Insa Härtel
Prof. Dr. Karl - Josef Pazzini
University of Hamburg
Von Melle Park 8