Images by Daniel Jarosch and Fotostudio West

2020. stockings, lace, padding, pacifier. approx. 25 × 25 x 80cm each

That a woman does not have a phallus but is the phallus has been explained to us by the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. According to his logic, she does not have a phallic, but she is it, nevertheless. “Being” here can also mean “being damned.” Man ‘has’ a phallus, woman ‘is’ the phallus, that is, he is the subject, and she is the object of the phallic order. Here, a moment of domination is interwoven, for the heterosexually male desire wants to ‘have’ the woman (and, thus, the phallus) and subjugate her. On the other hand, “the woman” is assumed to want to be desired (‘to be the phallus’), which means that she must submit. The phallic legs in Judith Klemenc’ work do not lead to a gender of lips – of which Luce Irigaray, as a counter-image to the phallic one, did not want to stop writing about –, but these legs lead to a breast. Legs and breast. Period. And back again. Beginning and end. Linearity. Whore and mother. One line, one logic. Judith Klemenc squeezes into this form what the woman – however terrible it may be – still is, again and again and again – because she is referred to as such.

Elisabeth Schäfer