Anna Fritzel


The Frozen Series is a small part of an extensive body of work titled Framing Contemporary Women’s Hysteria: The Archive, The Mediated Self, and The Recontextualization of Women’s Madness. Frozen contemplates the dormant potential of women historically, particularly the female experience over the past 200 years in context to American Exceptionalism. The project’s full breadth will encompass images from Frozen, tracing the history of hysteria and photographic representations of this sex-selective disorder, first noted in ancient Kahun Papyri before 1900 BC. It investigates how the carefully considered posing of the body has been a primary factor in the construction of historical representations of both women and this gender caricature. The Frozen images are metaphors for the beauty, creativity, diversity, strength and fragility, as well as the isolation and containment women have endured for centuries. The Frozen segment of this archive began as a response to a physical confinement that can result in creative impediment. The depression surrounding mental lockdown stifled my ability to think about anything. I decided to begin working on some ideas for my current dissertation and the context of women being frozen in representation via screen and paper media. I myself was feeling frozen and wanted to break out. I used flowers because of their stereotypical ties to the feminine and because of their color possibilities. I have created 1000’s of these specimens of color and the combinations are limitless, as are the abilities of women everywhere.