Natacha Lesueur — Outside a Nut


Photography, video

Natacha Lesueur
Outside a Nut

Past: November 13 → December 7, 2013

Carmen Miranda was a seductive surface. In Hollywood, she was the embodiment of exoticism and Latin sensuality. In Brazil, though Portuguese by birth, she personified the concept of Brasilianness, that is, she had become the symbol of the country national identity promoted by Getulio Vargas. Pale-skinned, Miranda took from Bahia women, who sold the fruit they carried on their head; she borrowed their headdresses, their dances and their cultures.

Natacha Lesueur takes as a starting point the Hollywood manufactured images of Miranda. In this work, she replays the media image of the actress with a complete reconstruction: poses, sets, makeup and costumes. Here again the artist, hitherto known for her visual, ornamental and food-related compositions, explores the hidden aspects of the human body. She copies the image of the character, which is basically an assembly of finery, fruits, flowers, attitudes covered over by ideologies. Locked in a pose, confined to sets in which she sometimes sinks, Carmen’s double can be embodied but with difficulties: the flowers, fruits, jewels or fabrics covering her are already fading.

Her skin — too black, too white or too green — is the mark of an identity shared to the point of sickness. Her face is almost a mask, her smile is frozen. Lesueur draws it anew, adding depth to the surface of her complex political, cultural and media persona, with its contradictions and ambiguities. Replaying the images of Miranda, a film icon of exoticism, she turns her into the personification of a new concept: racial and sexual reification by the media.

08 Paris 8 Zoom in 08 Paris 8 Zoom out

1, cours Paul Ricard

75008 Paris

T. 01 70 93 26 00

Official website


Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Late night on Wednesday
Visites commentées le mercredi à 12h et le samedi à 12h et 16h

Admission fee

Free entrance

The artist

  • Natacha Lesueur

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