COCKTAIL exhibition series « Twist and Shout »
Galerie Laetitia Gorsy – She BAM!, Spinnerei, Leipzig, Allemagne
Artistes : Romy Alizée, Ellen Akimoto, Ansatasia Bay, Zohar Freiman, Guerillas Girls, Celine Le Gouail, Anaïs Goupy, Opal Mae Ong, Orlan, Tatiana Ovrutschski, Peggy Pehl, Chloë Saï Breil-Dupont, Camille Soulat, Sophia Süssmilch
Founded in 2018 by Laetitia Gorsy, She BAM! Gallery is a direct response to the ongoing gender disparity in the art world. Many women artists have seen their work produced and shown through solo exhibitions that brought to light their visions as well as getting them the opportunity to make a difference in their careers from time to time. She BAM! stands for its own initiatives and positions by presenting 3 curated exhibitions called COCKTAIL. A bold name that sounds like thumbing the nose to the other half and getting reborn in the endorsement of female power.
COCKTAIL is a mix of some fancy ingredients that aim to match together to depict, examine and interrogate the woman’s condition in various ways. This attempt is an exclusive opportunity to discover each individual artistic practice in a non-hierarchical display.
COCKTAIL 1.“Twist and Shout” is the first show of the series. It brings 14 artists from different origins, backgrounds and ages into an intergenerational dialogue, as being a woman has always been a one and single combat for rights and acknowledgements through time. “Twist and Shout” is an exhibition proposal about the representation of the woman by women that combines portrait analysis, image d’Épinal scenes, body representations and languages as well as activist statements.
« Twist & Shout »’s purpose is to shake up minds instead of taste buds beginning with the question asked for many years by the Guerrilla Girls, an important anonymous group of female activists fighting against patriarchal leadership, racism and gender inequity.
“Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” is the starting point of this exhibition and echoes the works of the other artists displayed. ORLAN, the iconic French artist since her series of performance surgeries in 1990, presents La liberté écorchée, a video that shows her 3D flayed self-portrait moving progressively toward the position of the Statue of Liberty. A work that has the gender and the contemporary notion of the idea of beauty in our society at stake. A strong topic that also underlined the work of the French artist Anaïs Goupy, who summons desire through post-internet sensual but strange encounters. Tatiana Ovruchshaja, Zohar Fraiman and Ellen Akimoto, figurative and innovative painters, picture the woman – posing, cooking, and evolving – in her home. Such well-known sceneries remind us ironically and tragically too much of a daily life basis. Sophia Süssmilch works with her body that she considers her first material and that has to be thought of as political. Through performance, photography and painting, she produces powerful images for us to react. Here, she confronts us with a dissident but playful nurturing woman all teats out. On the contrary, the paintings of Opal Mae Ong seek introspection, especially in this portrait of a mysterious Hitchcock faceless figure who seems to be apologising to a mirror, in mourning and self-rejection. LGBTQIA+ activists, Céline Le Gouail and Romy Alizée deliver both strong portraits that enhance the milieu in which they evolve. In her engraving printings, Le Gouail invites herself and the viewer to create a narrative context through the composition of utopian families in which we can recognise icons from pornographic, music, art and literary scenes. Romy Alizée works on emancipation, and by picturing the minorities around her, she sabotages with humour the male gaze and imposes new standards. Chloé Saï Breil-Dupont glorifies memory by painting portraits alongside with remains of existences and experiences. Here, she renews the self-portrait showing one of her breasts, central and stuck in between autobiographical elements that are decisive for her. Whereas Chloé Saï Breil-Dupont oscillates between classism and ultra-contemporaneity, Anastasia Bay embraces the Surrealists and Dadaists’ spirits. Her large brushing gestures lead to the representation of a distorting portrait of a weeping woman. Finally, as a satiric final point of this show, Peggy Pehl exposes herself in an absurd ready-made floor installation.
Transformation is the key here, body and soul, as the last part of an understanding that was born in a hard twist through history and behaviours, like a shaking manoeuvre, and shouted out in and out of the gallery, into the world for an (r)evolution.
© Eléonore Gros & Laetitia Gorsy, 2022