contemporary art, event, exhibition, Paris, performance art

Olympia is Looking at You, or “Who’s Afraid of Deborah De Robertis?”

1 Olympia

Édouard Manet, Olympia, 1863 & Auguste Clésinger, Femme piquée par un serpent [Woman Bitten by a Snake], 1847

Olympia dares to look at us. This is the real scandal: she is looking at us. This unworthy woman, showcased only to be glared at, sister to the nude featured on an Orsay Museum poster inviting the public to come and look at nudes with their children (26 years after the famous Guerrilla Girls poster which was taking to task the Met Museum), is looking at us. So passive, her desirable flesh ready for the taking, she should not have any agency, she should not be soliciting… And yet she dares to look at us in the eye, she dares to face us, brazenly, immodestly, defiantly. One day, maybe, we will have her, as they say, thanks to our charm –or rather our money. But we won’t own her: possessing her will be more akin to submitting to her. Continue reading

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