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                                                            Please make me a girl

Today even feminists talk about post-feminism; others, like the Canadian artist Nancy Patterson, see us gliding into a technical era of cyber-feminism that „offers women the chance to break out of prescribed roles.“ In contrast, Mia Unverzagt seems, at first glance, to place her bets on a rather conventional feminist perspective with her installations. One cannot help but be reminded of Simone de Beauvoir's famous dictum: „ One is not born as a woman, one is made a woman.“

Yet Unverzagt's pink and sugar-strewn girl's universe is not at all a melancholic homage to a utopia that may, form many, have faded into oblivion. Perhaps because for her, the legitimate question arises of why de Beauvoir's sentence should have lost its validity after fifty years.

Her aesthetic concept is convincing precisely because she works on the basis of firm convictions that lie beyond the mainstream. It is on the one hand the ironic refusal implied by „ Please Make Me a Girl“ which shows a self-confident young artist who is unwilling to come to terms with traditional political and aesthetic schematisations. It is on the other hand the cryptic dialectic between old and new protoreligous elements of a domestication of the female that she playfully tries to capture.

Her exhibits are cheerful and scornful, full of disarming self-irony and biting derision – they create the paradoxical atmosphere of insight conveyed by kitsch and dollhouse ambience. In other words: Mia Unverzagt helps herself to the best ingredients of a communicative and subversive approach to art that does not indulge in selfrepresentation or find fulfilment in creative solipism, but rather understands art as a directive to meddle, and wants to see aesthetic enlightment being taken seriously. Her installations open our eyes to a shallow and greedy normalcy, a normalcy that they simultaneously counteract with their bold excesses. She shows us that it is only a sudsy carpet of kitsch and ritual, appearance and ideology that hold together our superficial everyday aesthetic,fixated on beauty as they are, And by means of this critique, she describes, despite all the playful irony, an arc to a rigorous philosopher like Simone de Beauvoir and her credo: „Man is born free.“

Dr. Hartmut Wagner