Shéhérazades

Shéhérazades (Virginia), Shéhérazades (Clarice), Shéhérazades (Ursula), Shéhérazades (Octavia), Shéhérazades (Colette)

framed inkjet print on Baryta paper.
image: 16,7 x 12,5 cm — frame: 35,5 x 49,5 cm, 2019 - ongoing

Photographs of five women writers and storytellers (Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Colette) in their interior are amplified and connected by a Shéhérazade pearl-mask.

Shéhérazade is a fictional character and storyteller of the Middle Eastern folk tales « One Thousand and One Nights ». Held captive by a king, to avoid getting killed in the morning like all women before her, she tells stories for 1001 nights. Through her talent as a narrator she saves her own life and the lives of her fellows. This makes Shéhérazade into the ultimate totem for the women storyteller.

In a series of paintings made around 1950 and titled Shéhérazade, René Magritte developed a creature-like pearl mask, thingifying attributes of a woman face: lips wearing lipstick and outlined eyes.

Shéhérazades reclaims Magritte’s mask motif and Shéhérazade’s achievements.