Frieda Toranzo Jaeger

born 1988

Frieda Toranzo Jaeger is a Mexican artist working and living in Berlin for several years. Her practice deals with the representations of masculinity and femininity in the visual culture of late capitalism, in which the car serves as the stereotypical symbol of male power and domination. In her paintings, the artist meticulously recreates the anatomy of the interiors of the vehicles of the future, their chassis, engines and other mechanical systems, thus reconstructing the semiotics of the order of domination. In this process of bringing the machine's ‘bowels’ to the surface, Jaeger seems to reference images of nature — well-known from the history of art, for example in Georgia O'Keefe's paintings — as the medium of surplus sexuality. In fact, the artist literally uses floral motifs as the background for the spectacle of the machines. Elsewhere, for example in her ‘Auto-eroticism’, plants constitute the natural part of the machine. Leaves, bushes and grass grow out of the cyborg body of the machine, problematizing the dichotomy between the natural and the artificial. What is more, in this process of naturalizing of the machine, the status of masculinity is undermined: after all, the excess and sexual dimension of nature is stereotypically associated with the feminine. Thus, the machine seems to become a hybrid, and the image consisting of three spatially interacting sections — an altar erected in her honour. The hybrid, by means of pink gloves, plunges into an autoerotic exploration of its own carnality. However, this activity is also paradoxical: complete self-sufficiency condemns this ideal subject of pleasure to the trap of repetition. Vitality, paralysed in a circular motion, must find an outlet, literally bursting from the frame.

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