1984, having taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in the master class of Arnulf Rainer as assistant professor for already two years, Birgit Jürgenssen wanted to counteract to the paralyzing lessons. In agreement with Arnulf Rainer, three nude models were invited to pave a possible way for the students to art by playful wrestling and hand-to-hand fights. The documentation of this battle of laughter, this marvellous interweaving and togetherness of the three women is for itself a merit of Birgit Jürgenssen.
In 1999 Birgit Jürgenssen gave those photographies a revival and saw not only a sensitive female image but also „a new female Pathos Formula“ (Elisabeth von Samsonow). She transformed them to „light images“, overworked tenderly with bath gel. Elisabeth von Samsonow wrote in an essay about the works in 1999: „Birgit Jürgenssen got rid of the image of gravity, which sticks to the picture of wrestling women and virtually sucks them down, by morphing them into light beings due an interaction of these emblematic energetic, human bales with liquids and finally photographing the result. (…)
On the background of beauty culture one can see the wild nature of palpability, as their sublimate form serves the peaceful handling of beauty oils. Does someone who wants beauty, tussle himself aesthetically upwards?”
The series called “Rankings” was firstly shown in the exhibition formlos at our gallery in 1999.
Elisabeth von Samsonow, "Sparta unterm Schminktisch", in: Eikon, Internationale Zeitschrift für Photographie & Medienkunst, issue 28, 1999, pp. 4-9.