Hannah Pichler, aka Loewon, is a conservationist and analogue fanatic. In both, she sees the chance to preserve valuable things. With her new series, she deliberately wants to address topics such as feminism and equality.
"In my Job, I preserve objects that have a personal, cultural or social value. It is similar to photography. I take photographs out of the need to preserve moments, impressions and colours for posterity."
The idea for the caryatid series came about quite by chance during a walk, on which these often-overlooked figures caught her eye. Very little is known about the figures and their origin, but the oldest ones date back to the 6th century BC from Delphi. They can be seen as an illustration of the burden that women carry in everyday life. Some refer to the women of Karyai city who were enslaved as punishment for fraternizing with the enemy. The most reasonable theory, however, is that the supporting women embody priestesses. The position was held only by the most beautiful and respected girls and only for one year at a time. Above all, they were considered as the spiritual support of the nation. The figures that still decorate the surviving facades of Historicism style houses often bear little resemblance to their predecessors. It is all the more interesting to explore their original meaning.
"I only started this project, I'm not sure which direction it will take. It is clear that on the occasion of Women's day I want to take pictures of women who have a burden to bear in their lives. I will use the caryatides as a starting point and symbol in these pictures. Perception will be the main theme of my photo series. Who are the women we pass by every day without really looking? Often it is not even recognizable at first glance what kind of burden they have to carry, femininity and appearance are in the focus."
Women are still sparsely represented in Hannah's profession and although she experiences a lot of acceptance, respect, and equality in her daily work, unpleasant situations still occur:
"On construction sites, I often get the feeling of being an alien being or even an intruder. Comments on figure and hairstyle are not uncommon and the most banal things, like carrying a big ladder on my own always attract unpleasant attention. I have also heard casual mentions such as: 'Girls are not quite as talented technically or manually'. Most of the time it is very casual sexism that is packaged as "fun" and the meaning of the actions and words usually only become clear to me later."
Hannah believes that analogue photography can also play its part in feminism and the struggle for equality:
"Art has always been an ideal medium to spread messages. I also think that female artists can make an important contribution by questioning and changing the role of women as beautiful photo subjects."
"Women are rightly a great motive. But no woman should merge with her surroundings and be a pretty facade design. There is much more to it than that. I want to take undiscovered, underestimated women out of their protected environment and photograph them for the present and the future."