Seven girls doing it, curated by Charlotte Friling, is the title of an art project that top off yesterday, playing upon a rich confusion between concepts of objectification and action.
Seven women artists explored this tension through introspection, embezzlement and humour. Their works developed different themes and strategies, ranging from the activation of the contemporary muse to the domestic absurd, from the uprooting of the mythology of the female nude to a questioning of the eroticism of female labour. All were interested in cultivating discrepancies and in subverting the expected.

Mythologically, the Muses inspired poets and also served as the guardians of their memories. Through exercises of both sculptural and mental repetition, folding, and cutting, Barbara Geraci deconstructed this promise of remembrance and cultivated a certain discrepancy to better activate the look of the viewer. The misty mirrors and mystical mountains photographed by Eva Kornblum, in which one can make out the shapes of a woman’s body, also called for an active look. Her iphone interpretation of the classical nude, or a woman bathing, is both innocently mischievous and a bashful self-portrait in an era of the pervasive, overtly sexualised image. Léa Noagues explored another type of sensuality tied to labour. Her performance Je, tu, il, elles was based on a legend around roman roof tiles, said to be have been moulded on the thighs of women, thus both utilitarian and symbolic. Woman’s work was also at the heart of Mahé Ripoll’s installations, playing at distorting domestic clichés and symbolically breaking her family’s entire china in order to rearrange it in myriad of new ‘mise-en-scènes’, between the euphoria of glitter dust and the imminence of an accident.
Latent violence could be felt in the procession of drawings by Capucine Simonis, made during the solitude of a spiritual retreat. Surrendered to silence, distractions were replaced by implosion, instincts, and an invented story that one starts to live by. A loss of points of reference similarly pervaded and became surrealist in Elise Leboutte’s Body occupations, drawings in which the body disappears and melts into urban objects, or alternatively, self-portraits in which the artist’s body takes root in and occupies the city.
This ‘anti-portrait’ was also the stake of Olivia Hernaïz’s work, which reversed the roles of the painter and his model, questioning the expected hierarchy. Her fake ‘white-cube’ was a collection of portraits of the artist made by passers-by, a web of looks, stories and exchanges. These amateur looks, as well as those of the artists involved in this project, questioned and interpreted, sometimes with solemnity, often with humour, but always with commitment.


Seven girls doing it
Place du Châtelain, 18

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Brussels, 23.03-5.04.2014