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Mirror Mirror: An Exhibition in Homage to Suzy Solidor

Exhibition  /  24 Oct 2012  -  25 Nov 2012
Published: 22.10.2012
Mirror Mirror: An Exhibition in Homage to Suzy Solidor.
Velvet da Vinci
Curator:
Jo Bloxham, Benjamin Lignel
Management:
Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt
Liesbet Bussche. Chain: Urban Jewellery: Suzy’s Charms, 2012. Zinc. Liesbet Bussche
Chain: Urban Jewellery: Suzy’s Charms, 2012
Zinc
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Twenty-nine artists from fourteen countries have accepted our invitation to study - and creatively respond to - the life of Suzy Solidor. We believe that their propositions constitutes a tribute to her singular life. A distorted mirror of that collection of portraits, this collection of objects prolongs it (some of the jewels are portraits themselves) but 'exceeds' it as well.
 

Artist list

Jivan Astfalck, Maisie Broadhead, Liesbet Bussche, Carole Deltenre, Iris Eichenberg, Rebekah Frank, Kiko Gianocca, Sophie Hanagarth, Kirsten Haydon, Leonor Hipólito, Mike Holmes, Peter Hoogeboom, Lisa Juen, Lauren Kalman, Susanne Klemm, Emmanuel Lacoste, Natalie Luder, Irma Mae, Mia Maljojoki, Jorge Manilla, Nanna Melland, Seth Papac, Marie Pendariès, Nathalie Perret, Ruudt Peters, Constanze Schreiber, Karin Seufert, Bettina Speckner, Manon van Kouswijk.
A singer, model, writer and actress, Suzy Solidor (1900 – 1983) was an intensely iconic figure of the Parisian night-life during the roaring twenties: she owned a nightclub in Paris, where she used to woo her audience with a staple of sailor songs in homage to Surcouf, the corsair of St Malo she claimed as her ancestor, or chronicle the love affairs of men and women. A self-avowed sexual predator, she openly dated both, and became somewhat of a de facto advocate of sexual freedom. Popular with German troops during the Second World War, her first club - la Vie Parisienne - was closed shortly after the libération, and Solidor forbidden to run an establishment for 5 years. She opened her next club in 1949, and moved to the French Riviera in 1960, where she stayed until her death.

From the moment she arrives in Paris from Brittany, Solidor becomes a sought-after model for painters, sculptors and photographers. She sits for everybody, it seems, from Cocteau to Bacon, and what probably started as an easy bread-earner for the young provinciale beauty eventually became part of the singer’s mise-en-scène of herself: she slowly built-up a collection of more than 200 portraits of herself, which lined the walls of her successive clubs...and some of which she took with her on her travels. Forty of these paintings now hang in a room dedicated to her in Château Grimaldi, which is situated next to Espace Solidor.

Solidor is a modern-day Narcissus: hers is a fretful form of self-commemoration, and she is probably closer to the doubting queen in ‘Snow White’ than to the self-engrossed mythological character. While some of her more transgressive contemporaries used photography and painting to pick-axe gender determinism, these portraits were not an opportunity for her to transform herself, and elaborate on the androgyny that so seduced her audience. She seems more interested in using art to multiply and reflect her own image: her collection of portraits track her through the day (from nudity to cocktail dress) and over the years (they were painted over four decades), but rarely outside a quite repetitive format. In short, she is not Claude Cahun (or Cindy Sherman) but rather the Queen Mother of mermaids, using the creative pluck of men (and some women) to amass evidence of her sway over them.

Twenty-nine artists from fourteen countries have accepted our invitation to study - and creatively respond to - the life of Suzy Solidor. We believe that their propositions constitutes a tribute to her singular life. A distorted mirror of that collection of portraits, this collection of objects prolongs it (some of the jewels are portraits themselves) but 'exceeds' it as well. Indeed, the practices represented in Mirror Mirror (jewellery, object, installation) are not mimetic; their point is not to resemble the 'sitter', but to outfit her fictions of identity: "I am a pirate / a singer / a (wo)man eater / a brittany gal who fled her native Saint-Malo…the better to ply Parisians with nostalgic shanty songs." The conceit that this jewellery is for someone specific in turn allows the makers to pretend that it is someone's: their pieces at once designate and invent new Suzy fictions. What better medium indeed than jewellery to fuel her mild mythomania?


Exhibition catalog available.

This exhibition was first displayed at Espace Solidor in Suzy Solidor's own village of Cagnes-Sur-Mer France. This is the only US venue.
 
Kirsten Haydon Karin Seufert. Brooch: Sphinx & Ice Radium, 2012. Polystyrene, pvc, silver, steel / Enamel, reflector beads, copper. Kirsten Haydon Karin Seufert
Brooch: Sphinx & Ice Radium, 2012
Polystyrene, pvc, silver, steel / Enamel, reflector beads, copper
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Kiko Gianocca. Brooch: She Would Be On The Beach In The Morning, 2012. Found photo, resin, forex, silver, steel. Kiko Gianocca
Brooch: She Would Be On The Beach In The Morning, 2012
Found photo, resin, forex, silver, steel
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Constanze Schreiber. Neckpiece: Suzy, 2012. Silver. Constanze Schreiber
Neckpiece: Suzy, 2012
Silver
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Manon van Kouswijk. Choker: Pearls for Girls, 2012. Porcelain, pigment, silk and gold. Manon van Kouswijk
Choker: Pearls for Girls, 2012
Porcelain, pigment, silk and gold
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Irma Mae. Piece: I love Paris (released 2012), 2012. Vinyl, paper. Irma Mae
Piece: I love Paris (released 2012), 2012
Vinyl, paper
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Bettina Speckner. Brooch: A Young Man’s Heart, 2012. Daguerréotype, silver, diamonds. Bettina Speckner
Brooch: A Young Man’s Heart, 2012
Daguerréotype, silver, diamonds
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Rebekah Frank. Piece: Untitled & Ex Votos, 2012. Steel, 18 kt gold solder / Copper. Two necklaces as part of a set & two objects. Rebekah Frank
Piece: Untitled & Ex Votos, 2012
Steel, 18 kt gold solder / Copper
Two necklaces as part of a set & two objects
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Peter Hoogeboom. Cufflinks: Embrasses, 2012. Mussels, rayon thread. Two arm cuffs made from the opposite halves of mussel shells. Peter Hoogeboom
Cufflinks: Embrasses, 2012
Mussels, rayon thread
Two arm cuffs made from the opposite halves of mussel shells
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Ruudt Peters. Object: Diaphano, 2012. Polyester, glass, silicone, distilled water. Ruudt Peters
Object: Diaphano, 2012
Polyester, glass, silicone, distilled water
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Lisa Juen. Piece: Yin + -Yin, 2012. Stainless steel, cubic zirconia, enamel on copper, glass, battery-box, light switch, cable. Belly-piece / Neck-piece / Brooch. Lisa Juen
Piece: Yin + -Yin, 2012
Stainless steel, cubic zirconia, enamel on copper, glass, battery-box, light switch, cable
Belly-piece / Neck-piece / Brooch
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Lauren Kalman. Video Installation: Certainly Red, 2012. Digital media player, DVD, frame. Lauren Kalman
Video Installation: Certainly Red, 2012
Digital media player, DVD, frame
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Seth Papac. Necklace: Put On The Lights, 2012. Brass. Seth Papac
Necklace: Put On The Lights, 2012
Brass
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Jorge Manilla. Brooch: Moments of Glory, 2012. Snake skin, leather, wood, silver, gold 14K. Jorge Manilla
Brooch: Moments of Glory, 2012
Snake skin, leather, wood, silver, gold 14K
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Carole Deltenre. Piece: Les Importables [The Unwearables] (For Suzy Solidor), 2012. Jewelers’ wax, silver, embroidered fabric, cotton thread. Three cockades. Carole Deltenre
Piece: Les Importables [The Unwearables] (For Suzy Solidor), 2012
Jewelers’ wax, silver, embroidered fabric, cotton thread
Three cockades
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Kirsten Haydon. Neckpiece: The Lure Of Radium, 2012. Enamel, microbilles de verre, pigment photoluminescent, transfer photographique, cuivre, nylon, photoluminescent pigment, photo transfer, copper, nylon. Kirsten Haydon
Neckpiece: The Lure Of Radium, 2012
Enamel, microbilles de verre, pigment photoluminescent, transfer photographique, cuivre, nylon, photoluminescent pigment, photo transfer, copper, nylon
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Jivan Astfalck. Neckpiece: Rosa Rubea Homuncula, 2012. Sterling silver, powder-coated brass, early 19th C vintage garnet settings, black Sapphires + AI203 synthetic raw and semi-finished rubies, sapphires. Jivan Astfalck
Neckpiece: Rosa Rubea Homuncula, 2012
Sterling silver, powder-coated brass, early 19th C vintage garnet settings, black Sapphires + AI203 synthetic raw and semi-finished rubies, sapphires
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Leonor Hipólito. Object: Suzy Solidor, 2012. Canvas. Leonor Hipólito
Object: Suzy Solidor, 2012
Canvas
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Maisie Broadhead. Neckpiece: Ssssssssuzy, 2012. Silver, found object. Maisie Broadhead
Neckpiece: Ssssssssuzy, 2012
Silver, found object
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Nanna Melland. Installation: Unbound, 2012. Chains, antique key. Installation and video. Nanna Melland
Installation: Unbound, 2012
Chains, antique key
Installation and video
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Susanne Klemm. Necklace: Anémone, 2012. Polyolefin. Susanne Klemm
Necklace: Anémone, 2012
Polyolefin
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Mike Holmes. Object: Suzy Fetish, 2012. Carved basswood, bone, brass, pearls, gesso. Mike Holmes
Object: Suzy Fetish, 2012
Carved basswood, bone, brass, pearls, gesso
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Mia Maljojoki. Neckpiece: Suzanne Louise Marie Marion, 2012. Cotton. Mia Maljojoki
Neckpiece: Suzanne Louise Marie Marion, 2012
Cotton
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Marie Pendariès. Object: Reine D’un Jour, Reine Pour Toujours, 2012. Gold-plated copper. Crown. Marie Pendariès
Object: Reine D’un Jour, Reine Pour Toujours, 2012
Gold-plated copper
Crown
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Emmanuel Lacoste. Object: La Vie Parisienne, 2012. Leather, copper, steel, silver, bottle, vintage tag. Emmanuel Lacoste
Object: La Vie Parisienne, 2012
Leather, copper, steel, silver, bottle, vintage tag
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Natalie Luder. Neckpiece: Mythe de Nuit, 2012. Amber, Shells, Epoxy, Silver. Natalie Luder
Neckpiece: Mythe de Nuit, 2012
Amber, Shells, Epoxy, Silver
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Nathalie Perret. Necklace: Vénus With Necklace, 2012. Stolen gold, lead, paint, plaster of Paris. Set of three long necklaces with wall mountings. Nathalie Perret
Necklace: Vénus With Necklace, 2012
Stolen gold, lead, paint, plaster of Paris
Set of three long necklaces with wall mountings
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Sophie Hanagarth. Neckpiece: French Kiss, 2012. Leather, forged iron. Sophie Hanagarth
Neckpiece: French Kiss, 2012
Leather, forged iron
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Iris Eichenberg. Object: Untitled, 2012. Steel, felt, panty hose , silk. Iris Eichenberg
Object: Untitled, 2012
Steel, felt, panty hose , silk
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