Bettina von Arnim (Malerin)


Bettina von Arnim (Malerin)簡介

Bettina von Arnim’s large-scale oil paintings from the 1970s depict the alarming fusion of human bodies, war machines, and cities in an age of advanced, technology-enhanced capitalism. Born in 1940 in Nazi Germany, von Arnim trained as a painter and graphic designer before settling in West Berlin, where she became associated with the New Realism movement as well as German Pop. In the late 1960s, von Arnim started vocally critiquing the rise of technocratic power in Western society, and developed a deep concern for the industrialisation of agriculture as well as the race among nation-states to conquer outer space. Her paintings from this time speak to the anxiety of technological advancement under industrial capitalism by developing a visual universe devoid of nature as well as human relations. Flammenwerfer, German for “flamethrower”, depicts a desert-like wasteland where a geometrically designed landscape leads to an enormous factory looming on the rainbow horizons. In Kyborg, the future post-human is imagined as a towering half-human/half-machine, with tubes and funnels replacing natural organs, making it appear as a spaceship or factory in his own right. This vision extends into Verkehrswesen (German for “transportation”) where an astronaut-like cyborg figure poses alongside various future transport methods—suggesting that soon enough, space travel will not only be normalised but managed by robotic labour. By incorporating elements from industry, technology, and space travel into one totalising visual universe, von Arnim produces a striking vision of a dystopian future, years before the emergence of cyberpunk.

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