January 12th 2023 – March 3rd 2023
Badr El Jundi is proud to present MOTHERS, a group show curated by Elisa Rigoulet, featuring artists Bea Bonafini, Marie Boyer, Bel Fullana, Cecilia Granara, Emma Passera and Camille Soualem.
MOTHERS is a narrative of representations of women by women. Above all it is a story about their relationships. In the idea of mothers, there is the idea of a clan, a group, a community. There is also the idea of the care given to the other in a principle of moving verticality that implies that each protected individual will, one day, protect in turn.
We are lacking in stories of women told about themselves. We are lacking in images, we are lacking in paintings, we are lacking in portraits. The artists’ works present themselves here as a new portrait of history, redefining its subjects as well as its authors. At the heart of the space, a woman painted yellow, warrior and protective, spreads her limbs to embrace the narratives of all the others. She sheds a tear, offers her fluids too, to warm them. She is not only the guardian of other creators, she watches over their connections to all of them, to all of us.
Elisa Rigoulet is an author. In 2013, she co-founded the Paris-based gallery Exo Exo alongside artist Antoine Donzeaud, which has developed exhibition projects in France and abroad. She has collaborated with various magazines and works with the Beaux-Arts de Paris as well as several galleries and artists on publication projects. In 2019, she will publish her first essay, followed by two other books on gender issues and feminist education. She is currently working on her first novel.
When I met Emma Passera, she was still a student at the Beaux-Arts Academy in Paris. She had created a collective and named it MOTHER, a word that she also wears tattooed on her ankle. MOTHER. Like an emblem. MOTHER. Like a verb. Of course, there is being a mother’ in its social function. But there is being a mother’ as an experience. Mothering would then be the experience of being with’, an experience of accompaniment. Emma’s work refers to the figure of the Priestess in the Tarot. She accumulates strength within herself like a pregnant woman. An egg sits on the right of the blade, symbolizing gestation. It represents all of life’s potential, and its need to be nurtured in order to hatch.
The MOTHERS exhibition is a story of the representations of women by women. And above all, a story of their relationships. In the idea of mothers, there is the idea of a clan, a group, a community. There is also the idea of care given to another. I protect you and I take care of you. You will protect me and take care of me in return. Camille Soualem represents women or non-binary people and creates worlds made of possibilities where every part of the painting communicates like an ecosystem. She is looking for symbioses and talks about softness, friendship, care, self-love as powerful resources to exist and resist.
I had a son in 2017. I told Cecilia Granara at length about my birth-story, as she prepared a new series of paintings on the subject. I realize that this narrative speaks of the passionate flirtation between the experience of life and the experience of death. A knot that is necessary for the arrival of everything in the world: an idea, a decision, a feeling, a life. The history of women and their representations is situated here, somewhere between the sublime and alienation.
Bea Bonafini‘s figures are evanescent and refer to a spiritual imagery where bodily fluids collide, disperse, swim, fly or fall. Accepting the complexity of stories means embracing their multi-cultural, contemporary, pop, mythological references. It is also falling in love with non-linear stories, which operate like cycles like in Cecilia’s paintings, mutually nourishing their energies, their saps as well as their hair, source and allegory of life. An ode to fluids, to trouble.
In her work, Marie Boyer also cultivates the operations of hybridizations through the female heroines of manga. They are ultimately warriors as sexy and seductive as whipped cream pastries. It is important that it is too much, that it shines, that it sparkles. Embody beauty to tell the tale of violence, entrust it. Like Marie, Bel Fullana explores the ambiguity of these representations, the culture of exhibitionism and the imagery of social networks. Her women are represented as ultra-sexualized in a falsely naive form. In control and angry. They tell us about the power of action and the strength of aggression.
I just hung up on Emma who told me again about her piece, ‘Water in water flows’. The eggs in the installation are kwartz like the eggs that women place in their vagina to do yoga. They symbolize well-being and allow a re-connection to our energies. It’s another way of brooding. My piece is a nest. Because what interests me is where you find refuge to repair yourself when you have been broken.’ To save yourself’, as Cecilia would say. ‘Hope this helps, everything I’m telling you, sorry if it’s chaos’.
At the heart of the space, a woman painted yellow spreads her limbs to embrace the narratives of all the others. It bears the name of starting point, origin and infinity. She sheds a tear, offers her fluids too to keep them warm. She is not only the guardian of other creators, she watches over the connections between all of them, and with all of us. In good company.
Elisa Rigoulet, January 2023