Prêter son corps au mythe
« Why have there not been any famous women artists? » Linda Nochlin asked in an essay that was published in 1970. That is because the history of art, in particular through the major myths, has limited woman to a passive role of a sexual object. As the author demonstrates, contemporary creators have seized this problem bodily. They have made up for the lost centuries by working on the feminine idea, generally through performances or installations. A few chosen examples illustrate an often complex speech: Rebecca Horn transforms into a unicorn, Ana Mendieta, using chicken feathers and blood, plays on the themes of sacrifice and of virginity, Mona Hatoum stages, with videos, the idea of rape, Ghada Amer embroiders – an eminently feminine activity – images of playmates, taken from pornographic magazines… For today’s woman artists, the question of gender remains a fundamental theme.
• Prêter son corps au mythe by Anne Creissels, Le Félin, 2009, 112 p., 22 €, ISBN : 9-782866-456917
Review published in the newsletter #127 - from 2 April 2009 to 8 April 2009