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An image of The writer (Dr Michael Haerdter/director, Künstlerhaus Bethanien) by Anne Zahalka

Anne Zahalka

(Australia 14 May 1957 – )

The writer (Dr Michael Haerdter/director, Künstlerhaus Bethanien)
printed 2007
Media category
Materials used
Ilfochrome photograph
Artist proof from an edition of 10 + 2 APs

81.5 x 81.5 cm image (sight); 85.4 x 85.4 x 3.7 cm frame

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the artist 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© Anne Zahalka. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Not on display
Further information

As part of a generation of Australian women artists who came to the fore in the early 1980s, Anne Zahalka’s practice has always been concerned with questioning dominant myths and cultural constructs. The broad sweep of Zahalka’s oeuvre has often been underpinned by a common strategy: the world in her images appears as theatre where place, gender and national identity are questioned.

In 1986 Zahalka undertook a residency at the Künstlerhaus in Berlin where she produced the series ‘Resemblance’. This group of eleven, highly orchestrated portraits of her contemporaries, quotes widely recognised conventions from 15th-17th century European painting. In ‘The writer…,’ the then director of the Künstlerhaus Bethanien is posed to resemble a 16th century European intellectual as though painted by Hans Holbein the Younger. As a portrait of a real person and a commentary on representation, the work alludes to the ease with which identities can be arranged and re-arranged.

Bibliography (1)

Centre for Contemporary Photography, Hall of mirrors: Anne Zahalka portraits 1987-2007, 2007, (illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

Hall of mirrors: Anne Zahalka, portraits 1987-2007:

(On loan to private collection), Private Collection, Mar 2010–Sep 2011