Friederike Anders

Lost Memories of the Woman in White (1997)

The phantasm of the “pure woman” and its uncanny side stand at the center of Friederike Anders’s video Lost Memories of the Woman in White, shown at steirischer herbst ʼ97. It departs from the story of a would-be political assassin, a female schizophrenic by the name of Adelheid Streidel, who nearly killed Oskar Lafontaine, the Social Democratic candidate for the German chancellorship, at a 1990 election rally by stabbing him in the throat. The media took special note of her clothing, dubbing her “the woman in white.”

Anders’ film presents a collage of short trailers about various archetypal women in white collected from popular media by means of a database search. The suspenseful story they build mixes fact and fiction, with traces of a woman in white also appearing in another spectacular case, the unresolved suicide or murder of Christian Democrat Uwe Barschel (found dead 1987 in the bathtub of a hotel in Geneva).

Friederike Anders (1958, Hamburg, Germany) is a film editor and author, working mostly in documentary and essayist films. Her work and research is based on theories of montage, personal archives, and the development of nonlinear narratives—for cinematic and interactive use. Created as artistic research works or commissioned TV productions, her films and media art installations have been presented at international festivals and exhibitions, and awarded grants, nominations, and prizes. Documentaries on which she worked as editor and dramaturge have won international acclaim.

MII video, 14′35″

​German and English

Cast: various icons of film history in notable all-in-white appearances (private VHS archive Friederike Anders), Craig Baldwin as Uwe Barschel
Written and directed by Friederike Anders
Conception and database setup: Friederike Anders (using feature film clips, documentaries from television, and self-shot material)
S-VHS camera: Friederike Anders
Editing, graphics, and sound mix: Friederike Anders
Production: UdK Berlin—UdK Frauenförderung + UdK Kommission für künstlerische und wissenschaftliche Vorhaben (KKWV)

Courtesy of the artist and Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe