Solo exhibition, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, Oct - Nov 1999
Installation views, Photos: André Morin
" ... The work (embodiment : wallpaper) is sold in six panels: rather than any standard commercial size, each panel is exactly Möller’s height, the 1.60m referred to above. Panoramic wallpaper normally opens up a view from inside to outside, showing scenes of exotic escapism or homely idylls stuck to walls that are otherwise unbearable. But instead of directing the gaze outside at a landscape, Möller’s wallpaper shows an interior, reversing the usual perspective. What the viewer sees is a conservatory, an artificial indoor garden. The image captures one of the primal scenes of domesticity: a nameless woman, her face always hidden, a perfect type devoid of individual character, waters the flowers in her conservatory, lavishing care and attention on them, talking to them. A typical plot, borrowed from the iconography of graceful, introspective composure; a typical posture, the woman herself slightly plantlike, not afraid to get dirt under her fingernails; and a typical overall setting, making the warm, sun-drenched conservatory in front of the cold wall behind—one of these unbearable walls that panoramic wallpaper is usually meant to cover up—look like a sheltered island. Right down to the types of plants, this is a thoroughly average scene of a secure interior, saturated with sunshine and tender loving care.
But this all-too-homely scene has uncanny undertones of the kind otherwise seen only in the work of Cindy Sherman, another artist who only ever features herself, though always in very distinct variations of that self. For the woman watering her flowers is of course none other than Ms Regina Maria Möller herself, working quite literally “undercover,” incognito and anonymous, her face invisible apart from the haircut, mid-length with slight steps, her appearance that of everywoman, the woman next door. In a double play on words, Undercover is the name given to a petticoat sewn out of secondhand clothes: it names the anonymity of the actress, as well as being undercover in the more direct sense, hidden by a skirt. This skirt, on the other hand, from the Silent Speaker collection, is made of loudspeaker cover material, so that the paradox of the silent speaker quotes the unspoken command for all women to avoid being too loud at all costs. The measure of individuality that is lost in the picture in favor of typicality appears slyly inscribed in the product nonetheless, almost hidden, in the very specific physical dimensions of this particular artist, an individuum ineffabile who creates a monument to herself by resolutely fitting things to her own scale."
Quote: Barbara Vinken "Singularity", in: Regina Möller: embodiment: dress plot, exhibition catalogue, Secession, Vienna, 2004
FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France
Director: Natalie Ergino
Photos of Panorama wallpaper: photo studio - die
Make-up & Hair: Christina Roth