Diva Reincarnation, 2005
Katarzyna KOZYRA
Diva Reincarnation, 2005
vidéo 8:05 min Edition de 5 + 1
Edition of 5 ex

Exposition de groupe : Une chambre à soi

29.04.2011 - 04.06.2011

Main space

Download exhibition press release


“Sir, a woman’s composing is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.”
A Room of One’s Own. Virginal Woolf


–I don’t see what you mean.
–You don’t see what I mean? Well, it has to be a regular practice. That’s what I’m looking for…
–You’re funny, you are… Girls and more girls…Do you know a lot who take photographs of themselves?...Let me think… Like Claude Cahun did?
– No, not necessarily, but that’s what immediately comes to mind: Claude Cahun, La Castiglione, Madame Yevonde (1)…Those who dare to look directly into the lens, shutter release in hand. Without trying to please… to please themselves. Those who are not afraid to be “seen”. Those who are not afraid to “see themselves”. Those who dare to “surprise themselves from behind”.
– I know girls filming themselves, certainly, but fewer who photograph themselves. Surprising, don’t you think? Feminists?
– Not particularly, even if they are known to have “done the work” – do you remember, we took them for harpies, certainly homosexuals, aggressive, obviously ugly and who also got involved in politics! But violent or not, activists or not, it was necessary. And “the work” is far from being over in Europe and elsewhere, we see it every day…We still say to girls that they shouldn’t climb trees, they’ll get dirty and when we see a women’s team training on a football pitch, we see at them as provocateurs. Me first. That’s the worst. And religion…And the “domestic tyranny” Virginia Woolf talks about, still a reality…
– Do you know this document where she is photographed with a turban, a false beard and moustache like a member of the Abyssinian royal family?
– 1910. The Dreadnought hoax? Yes, of course.

“Sir, a woman’s composing is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.”
A Room of One’s Own. Virginal Woolf


–I don’t see what you mean.
–You don’t see what I mean? Well, it has to be a regular practice. That’s what I’m looking for…
–You’re funny, you are… Girls and more girls…Do you know a lot who take photographs of themselves?...Let me think… Like Claude Cahun did?
– No, not necessarily, but that’s what immediately comes to mind: Claude Cahun, La Castiglione, Madame Yevonde (1)…Those who dare to look directly into the lens, shutter release in hand. Without trying to please… to please themselves. Those who are not afraid to be “seen”. Those who are not afraid to “see themselves”. Those who dare to “surprise themselves from behind”.
– I know girls filming themselves, certainly, but fewer who photograph themselves. Surprising, don’t you think? Feminists?
– Not particularly, even if they are known to have “done the work” – do you remember, we took them for harpies, certainly homosexuals, aggressive, obviously ugly and who also got involved in politics! But violent or not, activists or not, it was necessary. And “the work” is far from being over in Europe and elsewhere, we see it every day…We still say to girls that they shouldn’t climb trees, they’ll get dirty and when we see a women’s team training on a football pitch, we see at them as provocateurs. Me first. That’s the worst. And religion…And the “domestic tyranny” Virginia Woolf talks about, still a reality…
– Do you know this document where she is photographed with a turban, a false beard and moustache like a member of the Abyssinian royal family?
– 1910. The Dreadnought hoax? Yes, of course.
– There’s that too, transvestism, the right to hide his face, to wear a false nose for filmed scholarly conferences, to become a monster or a ghost. The right to be both his father and his mother, to transform into them. To be their image. The right to change “gender”, to become a hero or even a dead body, an object. Narcissus metamorphosed into a table, why not? “I see myself, therefore I am.”(2)
The right to be alone in “one’s own room” or in everyone’s eyes “a marvelous room of glass, that no noise can penetrate, and my mind freed from all contact with reality, free to stop at a particular meditation.(3) The right to a missed portrait… The right to “take the plunge”… What does that mean…? Listen to this:
– “When I have taken the plunge, whether it was covered in blue make-up or dressed like a teacher from the 70’s, I told myself that there would be no trace of what I did, after it was over, like a dance, Pfft... nothing left… When you are filming yourself, when you take pictures of yourself, you remain within the enigma, you are unable to see. What should we think of our photos, of our films? For me “the
thought of myself” when looking at myself, I don’t dare…,and if someone surprises me in front of a mirror, I feel ashamed. The very idea of filming myself makes me sad. It’s strange to look at oneself and not see anything…to see someone else…? Isn’t it?(4)
– So read the following. Pierre Mac-Orlan prefaced Claude Cahun’s Disavowals. He wrote:
“At dawn, all this will disappear. And only a stark strike will remain, a strike more naked than an operating table, than a female body polished like a marble statue, and just next to it, as though escaped from a useless chest, a heart, firm and mobile, a heart very much alive with all its complicated machinery.”
Translation Lauren Monchar - Hèlène Delprat, March 2011

1.See " Female Photographers; Emancipation and Performance (1850-1940)" Federica Muzzarelli
2."All inhabitant of the country without mirrors."Claude Cahun
3." A Room of One’s Own" Virginia Woolf
4. Email Pauline Curnier-Jardin /Hélène Delprat