SHE DEVIL 8. IN THE MIRROR
The theme of SHE DEVIL 8
is the MIRROR as a place of reflection and confrontation in which our image is multiplied and analyzed in a critical way, in pursuit of a new subjectivity through which to establish new dynamics of relation with the present. SHE DEVIL investigates the contours of female identity, which sometimes slides on the reflecting surface, and in other cases needs to violently smash the illusion. Between past and future, what exists reveals itself, on many different planes, in the act of looking in the mirror.
The godmother of SHE DEVIL 8
is Elaine Shemilt with the video performance Doppelgänger. The work is part of a series of video experiments by women artists in the 1970s and 1980s, rediscovered and digitally remastered by the research project REWIND, directed by Professor Stephen Partridge. Doppelgänger is one of two still existing videos of a series begun by Shemilt in 1974, salvaged in 2011. The term doppelgänger is used in German culture to indicate the evil twin (doppel / double, and gänger / goer). The doppelgänger of Elaine Shemilt is utterly feminine. The artist puts on makeup in front of the mirror in a ritual divided between the face and its reflected image that generates the double, the absolute protagonist of the finale.
SHE DEVIL is the name of a heroine in the Marvel Comics universe, Shanna the She Devil, and title of the famous film from 1989 by Susan Seidelman. In this circumstance it alludes in a playful way to the diabolical and bizarre spirit with which artistic experience investigates day-to-day life. In continuity with the previous editions of the program, the videos represent female viewpoints and place the various fields of video art research in direct contrast to one another. The purpose of the initiative is to stress, at times using irony, at times realism, the collective consciousness on themes such as female identity, the body as repository of representation and meaning, and personal experiences on universal dimensions, even when the very intimacy of the artists is at the forefront of their works.
SHE DEVIL was founded in 2006 thanks to an idea of of Stefania Miscetti, and involves artists and curators, both Italian and international, from emerging young talents to highly acclaimed personalities. The various works and different critical perspectives coexist within a discourse of many voices, in which the multiplicity of feminine worlds and visions emerges. After the first two editions, in 2006 and in 2007, respectively with four and six curators (and the same number of artists), since 2009, with the third edition, Stefania Miscetti has decided to get more curators involved. The success of the initiative was confirmed that year by a special international edition held at the MNAC, National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, Romania. In 2010, after the fourth edition of the project, SHE DEVIL was selected for the show The Madness of Art at the Ravello Festival. The fifth edition of the project took place in the summer of 2011 at MACRO, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome. In 2014 the 6th edition received extensive media coverage. In 2015 it was organized the 7th edition in Rome and the SHE DEVIL on Tour in Terni (Italy) and Belfast (UK).
Read and download the exhibition’s press release.
ÁSDÍS SIF GUNNARSDÓTTIR
Benedetta Carpi De Resmini
Elena Giulia Rossi