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Mirror Mirror: an exhibition in hommage to Suzy Solidor

Exhibition  /  23 Jun 2012  -  23 Sep 2012
Published: 22.06.2012
Espace Solidor
Curator:
Jo Bloxham, Benjamin Lignel
Management:
Myriam Lopez
Kiko Gianocca 
. she would be on the beach in the morning, 2012 
. 2 brooches 
. found image, resin, forex, silver, steel 
. 
. Karin Seufert 
. Sphinx 2012 
. brooch 
. polystyrene, pvc, silver, steel 
. 
. Kirsten Haydon 
. Ice radium 2012 
. brooch 
. Enamel, reflector beads, copper
. .
Kiko Gianocca
she would be on the beach in the morning, 2012
2 brooches
found image, resin, forex, silver, steel

Karin Seufert
Sphinx 2012
brooch
polystyrene, pvc, silver, steel

Kirsten Haydon
Ice radium 2012
brooch
Enamel, reflector beads, copper

© 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. 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?

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, and that they are best read in dialogue with the paintings presented in the Castle. 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?


The exhibition will then travel to Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco

We thank the numerous people who have supported, contributed, and generally made this project possible.

The catalogue:
Rather than photograph the objects on white backgrounds - which would have encouraged a sculptural reading of the work - we decided to supply the reader with a sense of relative scale, and to shoot each spread in one shot, leaving here and there the clues to a recent unpacking session. Our ambition was to show the 'backstage' of contemporary jewellery exhibitions: their logistical dimensions, and in our case the simple (and quite marvelous) fact that most of the forty-nine pieces created for this exhibition traveled to Cagnes sur Mer by post (those boxes will then fly onwards to San Francisco). This attempt at realism also provided us with a wide stage on which objects - either side of the fold - could dialogue together: we hope that this last set of mirrors will enrich the perception of each work.
 

Hours

June / Septembre : from Wednesday to Sunday, 2 to 6 pm
July / august : from Tuesday to Sunday, 2 to 7 pm 
 
Maisie Broadhead 
. Ssssssssuzy 2012 
. Necklace 
. Silver, found object 
. 
. Marie Pendariès 
. Reine d’un jour, reine pour toujours 2012 
. Crown 
. Copper, plated .
Maisie Broadhead
Ssssssssuzy 2012
Necklace
Silver, found object 

Marie Pendariès
Reine d’un jour, reine pour toujours 2012
Crown
Copper, plated


© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Mia Maljojoki 
. Suzanne Louise Marie Marion 2012 
. necklace 
. cotton 
. 
. Sophie Hanagarth 
. French Kiss 2012 
. necklace 
. leather, forged iron 
. & 
. French Kiss 2012 
. object 
. forged iron.
Mia Maljojoki
Suzanne Louise Marie Marion 2012
necklace
cotton

Sophie Hanagarth
French Kiss 2012
necklace
leather, forged iron
&
French Kiss 2012
object
forged iron

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Peter Hoogeboom 
. Embrasses 2012 
. Two arm cuffs made from the opposite halves of the same shells 
. Mussel shells, rayon thread 
. 
. Manon van Kouswijk 
. Pearls for Girls 2012 
. choker 
. porcelain, pigment, silk and gold.
Peter Hoogeboom
Embrasses 2012
Two arm cuffs made from the opposite halves of the same shells
Mussel shells, rayon thread

Manon van Kouswijk
Pearls for Girls 2012
choker
porcelain, pigment, silk and gold

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Carole Deltenre 
. The Unwearables (to Suzy Solidor) 2012 
. cockades 
. jeweller's wax, silver, embroidered fabric, cotton thread.
Carole Deltenre
The Unwearables (to Suzy Solidor) 2012
cockades
jeweller's wax, silver, embroidered fabric, cotton thread

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Emmanuel Lacoste 
. La Vie Parisienne 2012 
. Object 
. Leather, copper, steel, silver, bottle 
. 
. Lisa Juen 
. Yin + -Yin 2012 
. Belly-Piece/Neck-Piece/Brooch 
. Stainless Steel, Cubic Zirkonia, Enamel on Copper, Glass, Battery-Box, Light Switch, Cable..
Emmanuel Lacoste
La Vie Parisienne 2012
Object
Leather, copper, steel, silver, bottle

Lisa Juen
Yin + -Yin 2012
Belly-Piece/Neck-Piece/Brooch
Stainless Steel, Cubic Zirkonia, Enamel on Copper, Glass, Battery-Box, Light Switch, Cable.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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