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Shaving the Baroness
Lene Berg

In 1921, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray reputedly shot their first film together in New York with the dada artist Baroness Else von Freytag-Loringhoven. The film was lost and all that remains is one still-image, conflicting written accounts and a title: Elsa, Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven, Shaving Her Pubic Hair.

Lene Berg’s Shaving the Baroness is a restaging built on rumours and conflicting sources, and can be seen as a tribute to the so-called Dada-Baroness. As no original exists, Berg attempts to recreate the lost filmscene with two actors. A real situation is played out, one that cannot be rehearsed and where the director has little control. We are voyeurs of an intimate exchange something perhaps originally intended as a provocation and which might have changed the baroness’s life and destiny.

Keywords Feminism, Body, Performance
Aspect ratio 1.33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format Generic SD-video
Duration 00:07:33
Language English & No dialogue
Color BW
Year 2010
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About the artist

Lene Berg

Lene Berg, born 1965, is a Norwegian film director and visual artist based in Berlin and Oslo. Her main media is film and moving image, but her artistic praxis also includes installation, collage, photography, and text; and she has produced a number of projects in public space. She studied film at Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm and has directed four independently produced feature films as well as a number of short films and mixed-media artworks and installations for galleries, museums, and public spaces.  Berg’s autobiographical film False Belief  premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2019 and was nominated for the Amnesty and Teddy Award. She represented Norway in the 55th Venice Biennale with the film Dirty Young Loose (2013). In 2022 she did the Festival Exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall, which is considered the most important solo presentation of a Norwegian artist in the country. In 2023 she published her first novel, Fra far/From father at Kolon.

Berg’s work has been shown at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter; Konsthall C, Stockholm; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Art in General, New York. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions and biennales such as Manifesta; the Biennale of Sydney; the Taipei Biennial; Contour Mechelen and Transmediale Berlin.