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The Satanic Sex: Puppets, and the Pathological Feminine in Vienna 1900, an Illustrated Lecture with Frankie Roe
Morbid Anatomy Museum
Brooklyn, NY
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The Satanic Sex: Puppets, and the Pathological Feminine in Vienna 1900, an Illustrated Lecture with Frankie Roe
Date: Thursday, November 10th
Time: 7pm
Admission: $8
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY

In the years of the Viennese fin-de-siècle, avant-garde artists, authors and directors were inspired by the symbolic potential and gestural vitality of the puppet, marionette, automaton and doll. From Arthur Schnitzler to Karl Kraus, the art, literature and theatre of Vienna 1900 is populated with artificial figures that shed light on contemporary understandings of the human self, agency and consciousness. Strikingly, this fascination with artificial protagonists was heavily gendered, with the majority of puppets, marionettes, dolls and automata presented as female - and not only female, but as representatives of a 'satanic' sex, deviant figures that revealed the hidden abnormalities of the female psyche. From Oskar Kokoschka's feathered sex doll to the demonic puppets of Richard Teschner, this illustrated talk examines the gender roles of Vienna 1900, asking why puppets, marionettes, dolls and automata were used to express fears around femininity and changing gender roles, and how these bizarre objects might relate to our own understanding of gender.

Frankie Roe was born in Leeds and studied German and Italian at Oxford University, where she became fascinated by the Austrian fin-de-siècle. In 2013 she moved to Bristol where she completed a Masters project on obscure Austrian poets from the First World War (and discovered a surprising number of women who dressed as men to fight at the front). After a slight change of direction, she is currently studying for a PhD on artificial figures and gender in the Viennese fin-de-siècle. She is also writing an article about the forgotten Austrian poet Gustav Heinse, in a small attempt to rescue him from the abyss of history. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and print-making, gender theory, brutalist architecture, the bleak moors of the North of England, and escaping England whenever possible.


Morbid Anatomy Museum (View)
424 A Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
United States




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