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Elsa & Johanna
What a Woman is Worth: the Twelve Hours of Day and Night
This project was started with the republishing of a work entitled Ce que vaut une femme: traité d'éducation morale et pratique des jeunes filles (What a Woman is Worth: A Treatise on the Moral and Practical Education of Young Girls) published in 1893 with the support of the Ministry of Public Education. The tone is set in the introduction by the author, Éline Roch: "What would happen to our country the day when women were diverted from their natural destination, when the young girl could assume that there is something else for her than the noble and holy mission of being a wife and mother?
At the invitation of The Eyes Publishing, the artist duo Elsa and Johanna take a unique look at this vision of women from another time.
Surprised by the denial of women's humanity and their own sensitivity, the two photographers set out to meet a very diverse group of female personalities. Following the thread of the 24 hours that make up a day (the 12 hours of the day, the 12 hours of the night), Elsa and Johanna identified with twenty-four women whom they alternately embodied or photographed in the confines of the home. Although we always find the women in a domestic setting, they are out of step with the usual representation. They are not busy with household tasks and are not reduced to the single cliché of gentleness, compassion and sacrifice for others. On the contrary, we find them all abstracted from their spatial and temporal framework, frozen in a present that lasts, that of their own reverie. The choice of black and white film, which is new to Elsa and Johanna's work, is intended to give these women and their emotions a timeless character. It is up to the visitor to immerse themselves in the portraits and to guess, or even imagine, the existence that each one carries within her.
This constellation of 24 women forms a pictorial mythology whose history the viewer has only to elucidate, too long buried behind the univocal veil of what has been called female nature.
With the support of
Until December 19th
Final residence of the philosopher, founder of «Positivism», the House of August Comte is both an apartment-museum and an archive-library centered around the philosopher and nineteenth-century thinking.