Women appear

The performance-video “Women appear” explores the question of the gaze and the agency of the subjects in classic painting. It revisits iconic paintings that display nudity of the female subjects for the male viewer’s consumption, with their bodies being arranged as such to disregard physical and anatomical accuracy, commodifying them even more. The performer in the video tries to reproduce and hold the poses from classic paintings without any context or indication as to which painting. It summons images from our collective art knowledge, while underlining the absurdity of these depictions by letting the physicality of the body through its shaking and contortions speak for itself. The attempt to hold still is bound to fail: the body moving against the will of the performer, thus forcing them to break with this history.

© All rights reserved, Elodie Grethen, 2024