Small Scale Model of a Home (Vermeer Studio), installation view Small Scale Model of a Home (Vermeer Studio), installation view Small Scale Model of a Home (Vermeer Studio), installation view Woman Asleep, painting by Johannes Vermeer, 1657 Small Scale Model of a Home (Vermeer Studio), interior miniature house Small Scale Model of a Home (Vermeer Studio), installation view

This is a video project about the construction of patriarchy in the context of the “Golden Age”. For this project, Mathilde ter Heijne starts out from copper engravings by the now largely forgotten female Dutch artist Geertruyd Roghman (1602–1657) and paintings by her contemporary Jan Vermeer (1632–1675). Both artists show women practicing handicrafts in their works, but still present two contrasting realities of life: Roghman shows women who are compelled to work for their living, while in Vermeer’s work the women devote themselves to craftwork as a typical feminine “leisure activity.” Both works are accompanied acoustically by disparate contemporary source texts on the topic of domestic violence. These two layers of content show that a patriarchal social system cannot offer a “Golden Age” to women, neither in the 17th-century Netherlands nor today. A historical reconstruction of two rooms of Johannes Vermeer’s house was used to produce a miniature backdrop for the video Fuck Patriarchy! (2004). This video is presented in combination with the model house.  Inside the house one can hear a scene from an interactive theater play.

This work has been shown at
Any Day Now, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, 2010


Spoken text:
Man: Don’t cry, you don’t cry, okay?
Woman: (crying) I am not happy here.
Man: (aggresively) I don’t want to see any tears! Don’t cry.
Woman: (begging) It is important for me to say something.
Man: (shouts aggresively) It is not important for you! Stay here! Sit on the sofa! Sit down! Please!
Woman: (backs off) No, No.
Man grabs her and forces the woman to sit down, chairs fall, things fall from the table.
Woman: Auw, auw!
Man: (still forcing and shouting) Sit down! Sit, sit!
Woman: (crying)
Man: I don’t want to see you cry! Stop. Stop. Stop.
Man slaps the woman
Man: All right. Now you are quiet.
Man: What do you want to do?
Woman: I am going to get a tablet to clear the mess.
Man: No! Stupid bitch! You are pathetic!
Man: (puts a cup in front of her) Drink this. Do you think you can tell me what to do? Fuck you! This is my house. Leave if you want to. (shouts) LEAVE.
(grabs her) Come on!
Woman: (soft) I don’t want to leave you.
Man: No! OK. (commanding) Then come back here. Sit down on the sofa…Sit!
Man: OK, you stay with me, OK?…Then you listen to me, OK?…
Woman: Yes.