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Emma Hartvig


Masks and myths

Masks and Myths explores identity and disguise, particularly the masquerade of femininity made up of multiple selves. Looking closely at mythology and historical portraits of women – often following the archetype; the maiden & madonna or the whore – and in-between lies the over-sexualized woman hardly in charge of her own pleasure. Joan Riviere’s “Womanliness as a Masquerade” argues that the masquerade is the symptom and the cure of women’s anxiety of trespassing the borders between domestic and public spheres – under the disguise of femininity they veil their masculinity and thus taking their sexuality back and taking control of their own image. To hide behind a mask, to disguise, may grant her an opportunity to be who she truly is.

Mainly inspired by surrealists and painters, this body of work substantially consists of self portraiture, blended with images of women challenging some of these archetypes. The saint; full of knowledge of her own body – she is veiled but not hidden. She is masked for the purpose of revealing and concealing, like Venetian aristocrats and peasants, disguised by their masks, playing out their fantasies.

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