Surfaces : works on paper

KIVLAND, Sharon (2012). Surfaces : works on paper. [Show/Exhibition]

Image (JPEG) (Mes plus belles (1968))

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The idea of ‘skin deep’ is a commonplace of our culture, but some thinkers have sought to overturn the notion of the superficial and place significance, complexity and profundity in the surface. Works in this exhibition engage with meaning captured in the surface. Curated by Steve Perfect and John McDowall as part of AMBruno.

Kivland exhibited works from a series entitled 'Mes plus belles (1968)'. Working from her collection of French women’s magazines, published at particular moments of insurrection or social change, pictures of the modern woman are isolated from their backgrounds, reprinted, then coloured as faithfully as possible according to their original colour, which becomes a strange maquillage, or indeed, in Joan Riviere’s term, a masquerade. And masquerade is a play on the imaginary, subject to the market of sexuality, which masks the object. They become grotesque, even though Kivland tries to work as carefully as possible, really doing her very best not to spoil them, like a teenage girl in her bedroom (colouring in her idealised drawings of what she may wish to become). The ‘make-up’ is gesture and trace in the most fleeting gestures of corporeal ritualisation, and she makes it up. She provides a facial treatment, producing a face. There is both face and mask, and both are offered; the mask (maquillage) is offered as mask, in the words of Slavoj Zizek, ‘as false pretence, in order to give rise to the search for the secret behind the mask’. It is, he writes, ‘the trick of the feminine masquerade’. While social conditions are changing rapidly, the image for women of 1968 lags behind.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sharon Kivland
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2012 13:52
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2012 13:52

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