As A Wife Has A Cow: A Love Story

Cornelia Wyngaarden

1985, 45:00 minutes, colour, English


A video portrait of Keely Moll, a lesbian rancher. An intimate interrogation of the life and perspective of a confident woman, this work replaces the traditional Western gender paradigm of a man in the landscape with a restitution of the female image. Slow-motion images of cows being roped at a rodeo are juxtaposed with languid pans of rolling landscape and stories told by Moll. Wyngaarden infuses this traditionally masculine preserve with the body, actions and experiences of an independent, transgressive woman. Moll’s subjectivity is presented alongside her complex relations with family, the land, labour and community; each emerging as compelling facets of a life well lived. Available as a single channel video or installation.

The traditional tough-talking cowboy is replaced with the "Marlboro Woman". Sensationalism is turned into mundane rural realism. The mundane becomes meaningful again and reconfirms that the landscape is indifferent to gender and stereotyping, at the same time it maintains its intimacy and lyricism. A portrait of a woman develops as she tells different stories which eventually reveal her charismatic character. Confrontation with the mass media representation of women has been deliberately subdued. The aim of the work is the restitution of female imagery without confrontation.

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