Retrospective monograph, highlighting the work of the French artist-photographer Natacha Lesueur over a period of nearly 30 years.
Curated by Christian Bernard
, the exhibition at Villa Medici on which this book is based unfolds in the form of a visual and thematic narrative that brings together more than 80 of the artist's pieces, both historical and unpublished, offering an intimate look at his work around the image and its plastic and political issues.
The ironic dimension of the title, borrowed from Virginia Woolf's book A Room of One's Own
, fully expresses her awareness as a woman artist and sets the tone for an exhibition in which the incongruous and the extravagant are treated with the utmost seriousness.
From the first historical pieces (1993-1998), to the very recent series of fairy brides (Les humeurs des fées
, 2020-21), including works dedicated to the Brazilian actress Carmen Miranda, a legendary figure of Hollywood cinema in the 1940s, representations of the feminine inhabit the exhibition, often disturbing, always ambiguous. Through interventions on distinctive identity markers, hair and clothing envelopes, vehicles and symbols of the masquerades of femininity, through the exploration of dedicated roles and normative models—bride, mother, princess, actress, dancer, etc.—by the subversion of the injunctions to beauty, youth or thinness, Natacha Lesueur seeks to reveal, not without humor, the manifestations of the expression of a social and cultural constraint. Stuffy hairstyles, accessorized hair, XXL makeup and food postiches are all recurring enigmas in the tableaux-recits.
Like a dancing dog
also goes beyond the boundaries of the photographic medium to explore other aspects of Natacha Lesueur's artistic production: ceramic sculpture-fountains, earthenware vases, drawings and video works punctuate the exhibition, in dialogue with the photographic series, as a way of questioning the experience of the image and the fixity of forms.
Enigmatic figures of fairies and brides or familiar female portraits that expose themselves to the eye while evading it: the exhibition Like a dancing dog proposes a personal and cultural feminine genealogy of the artist, "a multiple work, unfolded in a journey punctuated by her singular uses of the strange and the ambiguous" (Christian Bernard).
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Villa Medici, Rome, in 2021-2022.
Natacha Lesueur (born 1971 in Cannes, lives and works in Paris)’s work is mainly photographic
. Her artistic preoccupations revolve around the body, appearance, and the intimate relationship that the body envelope and its interiority maintain. Through series of images constructed like paintings, the body is subjected to different treatments that are at once constraint, staging and mask.
See also Thierry Davila : Natacha Lesueur – Surfaces, merveilles et caprices