Corinne Mariaud, French photographer, has decided to present images from her photographic series I Try So Hard, Trophies and Climax. The pictures presented in this exhibition question the image, the place of woman and its representation in contemporary society, the diktat of appearance, the cliché about femininity and masculinity.
Through the figure of the human body, these photographic series evoke the quest for identity, the emancipation of individuals and their struggle to preserve their individuality in a standardized world. With humor and gravity, Corinne Mariaud uses the power of the imageries to evoke the inner turmoil that inhabits the body, both feminine and masculine, which are vulnerable and powerful.
The series I TRY SO HARD explores women’s smile and its role in society. For this series the artist filmed women smiling during two minutes, the difficulty of the action turned it into almost a performance. The faces in the videos are tense and tears come out of the model’s face sometimes and pain is perceptible. While the artist was shooting this series she felt responsible for the pain and felt as an executioner. Something disturbing and anxious emerges from these smiles that remain frozen for an unusually long time. This friendly and pleasant expression turns into a rictus and there is no sound, only the silent scream of the smile.
According to the artist the smooth and standardized smile for every occasion is part of the woman’s etiquette. Women must be discreet, not talk too loud, not frown or grimace too much, their social identity is above all smiling and the smile becomes a brand of social domination.
In TROPHIES, a woman’s head is hung on the wall like a hunting trophy. She becomes the tableau itself, the object hooked. In this series Corinne Mariaud intends to present the ideal woman as restrained and inoffensive,
a woman who is trapped by her appearance and is a victim of female stereotypes.
In CLIMAX, the woman wrestles with herself. She exhibits herself, though hiding her face, and therefore excluding the spectator. She resists the social context that wants to control her sexuality. She struggles to retrieve the control over herself. Under the lights of the studio, her body stands like a sculpture. She becomes a totem. Under the lights of the studio, her body stands like a sculpture. She becomes a totem.
Thursday 26 May – Saturday 25 June 2016
The gallery is open:
Monday to Friday: 12pm – 8pm
Saturday: 12pm – 6pm