Zoe Leonard
documenta IX, Kassel, Germany

21-84-Untitled Documenta Leonard

List of sources:

    This installation was exhibited at Documenta IX in Kassel.[1] In her work the artist referred to already existing artworks in a museum, in all of them were depicted women. According to Leonard women in art were over-present as objects, but under-present as producers of art.[2] The same applies for the female genitalia: the female sex is "over-present as something to be looked at, and under-present as something we experience."[3] So, inspired by the poster "Read my lips" (that was created with the collective Gang some time before) she hung black & white photographs of the female genitalia alongside baroque portraits of women. The photos of the vulvas put the emphasize on the genitalia - desired, but a taboo in the Baroque era. The photos showed what was omitted in the paintings of past eras: the explicite depiction of the vulva, that, however, at the same time subliminally is omnipresent in the painting of the past eras.[4] Zoe Leonard commented on the black & white photographs: "It is the most aggressive image and the most passive image. It's the thing that people are most afraid to look at, most afraid to talk about, most eager to look at, most eager to talk about (...)."[5]

Biography: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoe_Leonard

(Translation: K. Seifter)