Frauengold vs. Klosterfrau (Melissengeist)
Female gold vs. nun
Women’s portraits of the past decades
Bolzer works on the role model of women in the past decades. The woman as mother, lover, object of desire, girlfriend and wife. The expectations that had to be met were often in strong contrast to the rights of the women of that time. The women in the past as well as today, had to work in the role assigned to them. Often they found relief from everyday life with alcohol-containing tinctures. This work recognizes the women of these generations and reflects today’s image of women through the passage of time.
“Frauengold” (Wikipedia) (later also Frauengold-N) was a tonic that was offered by the Flensburg company of the same name in 1953 without a prescription in drugstores, pharmacies and health food stores. It was a cardiovascular tonic, which was specifically advertised with its calming and mood-lifting effect. Main active ingredient was at least 16.5% alcohol by volume.
“Klosterfrau Melissengeist” (Wikipedia) Almost 200 years old the well-known Melisana – known as ‘spirit of melissa’ in Germany – was used by the nun Maria Clementine Martin to help people with nervous dispositions or digestive problems. To this day, the name Melisana is inseparably linked to Klosterfrau.
Critics saw the widespread use and success of “Frauengold” as a continuation of late 19th-century “cologne-water-alcoholism” in which women, who were generally denied access to high-percentage alcoholic beverages, instead drank declared ethanol containing tinctures such as colognes or medicine (as the Klosterfrau Melissengeist) and frequently became dependent. The drug was initially advertised, among other things, with the claim “take women’s gold and you blossom!” In addition, a lighter tolerability of menstrual disorders should be suggested subliminally; In 1955, the claim “women’s gold creates well-being, mind you – on all days” was introduced.