My photo and video series, “Self-Destructive Female Icons”, which began in 2003 is fundamentally a study of images and more particularly a visual exploration of the concept of “man being the image of God and woman being the image of man”. This being the case, women are saddled with conforming with the fears and desires from within the imagination of men. This creates a complex relationship between the genders and one aspect of this complexity is the conundrum of the self-destructive female icon. My photo and video series is a study of the lives of public women who had much in common with each other, but above all, died untimely and tragically. How and why is there a pattern of self-destruction at work among them?
What interests me is not just how they are biographically linked, but also how they appear to represent mythological female figures from the past, in particular the goddess Venus or Aphrodite. There is also a link to figures in fairy tales such as protagonist Karen in the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Red Shoes”, which I shall go into more in detail during my talk. The women are linked historically and genealogically through time and images. I will illustrate this with art historical theories, in particular Aby Warburg’s bilderfahrzeug and bildwanderung. Moreover, I wish to discuss why I think these women became self-destructive and how this pattern of behaviour is selected by the elected few from our collective unconscious in order to fulfil a misplaced desire for worship.