Le Deuxième Sexe — Une note visuelle — Une proposition de Tobi Maier


Collage, film, graphic design, new media...

Le Deuxième Sexe — Une note visuelle
Une proposition de Tobi Maier

Past: May 25 → July 13, 2013

The exhibition The Second Sex — a visual footnote, curated by Tobi Maier, is a visual essay inspired by the book of the same name by French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, whose existentialist take on many of the issues of feminism first emerged with the publication of Le Deuxième Sexe in 1949. One of de Beauvoir’s principal challenges was to foster women’s emancipation and the recognition of their working force. Through a close reading of de Beauvoir’s seminal book the exhibition introduces a number of works that lean towards ideas highlighted in her texts, such as representations of women in myths and the descriptions of their lived situations.

The Second Sex — a visual footnote presents installations by three woman artists spanning a variety of media, from film, sculpture, photography to collage. Originating in the 1970s, Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven, Marianne Wex and Ilene Segalove’s work can be considered a visual articulation of the intrinsic ideas of second wave feminism. Launched during the late 1960’s, critiques of patriarchy, capitalism, the woman’s role as wife and mother as well as the relations between race, class, and gender oppression were major topics. Active until the present day however, the concepts in the artists work selected for The Second Sex — a visual footnote also relate to a more inclusive third-wave feminism, which began in the mid 1990’s and deconstructed notions of the body, gender, sexuality and hetero-normativity.

In collaboration with the Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir in Paris the exhibition at La Galerie is presenting a collection of titles sourced from the centre’s archives, which consists of activist — feminist, gay and lesbian — videos from the 1970s, but also more recent works, documentaries, video art, fiction and experimental films produced in France and abroad.

Since the late 1970’s Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven’s work has developed across media and now includes video, installation, painting, performance, music and publishing. With a training in graphic design, her hand-made collage works are created in parallel with computer-generated images and multimedia installations. For the exhibition the artist has selected pieces from several decades of her oeuvre. Many of her collages address the roles attributed to women and men as well as the power and erotic relationships between them. Kept in a signatory psychedelic and punk aesthetic, her work fuses historical references with psychoanalysis, artificial intelligence and philosophy, as manifest, for example, in the Philosophical Rooms series from the early 2000’s, dedicated to influential thinkers from Nietzsche to Deleuze. In the basement of La Galerie van Kerckhoven also presents the dreamlike video installation Adam or Eve in Paradise (2004).

During the 1970s, Ilene Segalove edited artistic documentaries such as Mom Tapes (1973-75), about her family life in Beverly Hills. The film depicts the relationship with her mother and discusses the role of the housewife in a patriarchal society. In her latest video work Whatever Happened to My future? (1972-2012), the viewer encounters a synthesis of animation collage and recorded footage. In a mood reminiscent of the earlier Mom Tapes, the new work combines recent footage with recordings from 1972 and thus depicts the young artist conversing with herself. In both films Segalove narrates stories with a distinctly dry sense of humor underlining their inherent cultural criticism.

Marianne Wex’s presentation consists of a photographic atlas entitled Female and Male Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures. From 1972 to 1977 Wex photographed people and their body language on the streets of Hamburg and subsequently classified her photos into different categories. She juxtaposed women and men according to the specific positioning of arms and legs, feet, knees, elbows, hands, shoulders, and heads. She was interested in the degree to which gender-specific conditioning and hierarchy are reflected in everyday poses and gestures. In order to expand her research, Wex supplemented the approximately 5000 photographs taken in public spaces with re-photographed pictures from mass-media sources and statuary from antiquity and the Middle Ages. The atlas was published in book form, first in 1979 by Frauenliteraturverlag Hermine Fees, and was subsequently translated into French and English.

93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom in 93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom out

1 rue Jean-Jaurès

93130 Noisy-le-Sec

T. 01 49 42 67 17

Official website

Opening hours

Wednesday – Saturday, 2 PM – 6 PM
Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Fermeture les jours fériés

Admission fee

Free entrance

The artists

  • Anne Mie Van Kerckhoven
  • Ilene Segalove
  • Marianne Wex