Loading...

MIMÉTISME RELATIF - Femme panthère, 1973

RELATIVE MIMICRY - Panther Woman, 1973
Work on paper (unique), 30 x 36 x 3 cm

In the context of the feminist and Pop art movements of the late 1960s and early seventies, Dorothée Selz produced the series Mimétisme relatif in 1973. Both humorous and critical, the series addresses the image of the seductive woman as found in fashion magazines and calendars, as well as works by Pop artists such as Allen Jones. Selz produces diptychs using a photograph of a model from an advertisement and another of the artist herself imitating or reproducing the model’s pose. Then she mounts the photographs in a cement frame decorated with brightly coloured acrylic paint applied using implements for icing cakes. As if they were sugar or coloured sweets, pin-ups of women are displayed as visual objects to be consumed.

The artist questions the examples of female identity in consumer society and the idea of desire. The combination of the role of the model and the artist emphasises the artificiality of the pin-up image as presented by the media. ‘At a time when feminist movements were denouncing and rejecting the idealisation and objectification of women’s bodies as conveyed by magazines, Selz’s re-appropriation of popular imagery stages the ambiguous desire to both reject and resemble those icons.’ (Elsa Coustou: Dorothée Selz.

The artist explained the genesis of the work during her participation in The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern, London, in 2015, referring to the ambivalence of the seductive female model for women. If, on the one hand, they refuse the imposed model, on the other they want to look like her. ‘From 1960 to 1975 the woman was depicted in popular imagery (calendars) or sophisticated imagery (Playboy magazine or Allen Jones’s works) as a seducer, femme fatale or pseudo prostitute. Or, on the other hand, as a housewife or mother of a family. These two clichés were the most common: mother or femme fatale. I thought that women were in an ambiguous position, between the secret desire to resemble the “sexy female models” and the rejection of these models. It is in this spirit that I conceived this series where I staged myself as a model, by highlighting with humour the ambivalence of the female image in sexy pictures.’ (Dorothée Selz interviewed in September 2015. https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/ey-exhibition-world-goes-pop/artist-interview/dorothee-selz. All the quotations reproduced come from this interview.


Technical details

Original title:
MIMÉTISME RELATIF - Femme panthère
Registration number:
4170
Artist:
Selz, Dorothée
Date created:
1973
Date acquired:
2011
Status:
On display
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Work on paper (unique)
Media:
Gelatin silver print and coloured mortar on wood
Dimensions:
30 x 36 x 3 cm (height x width x depth)
Room:
Meier Building, Level 1, Rooms 7 and 8
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Copyright:
© Dorothée Selz, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:
Yes

Accessibility resources
Tactile reproductions

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.

Blue protects white from innocence. Blue drags black with it. Blue is darkness made visible.
Derek Jarman