Les Vainqueures | Léa Jeanmougin

Studio XX is pleased to welcome artist Léa Jeanmougin during a residency, which will take place from January 25 to March 21, 2015. Les Vainqueures aims to create a series of virtual collectibles (cards) showcasing important historic women through a website and a smart phone application.

Les Vainqueures aims to create a series of virtual collectibles (cards) showcasing important historic women through a website and a smart phone application. Using the visual codes of sport cards, the project explores the role these glorifying codes can play in the shaping of our collective subconscious, mental references and memory. Strong visuals, as intended to be used in the series, could help reveal unknown female figures, shed a new and inspiring light on women we know or stand as a tribute to the ones we cherish.

The card artifact evokes several references: first off, and depending on how these codes will be (mis)appropriated, it quotes the sport cards whose idols we may have seek as a child. Second, it refers the religious icons cards displaying saints and other prayers, and that some people keep in their wallets as a reminder or a lucky charm. Finally, on a different level, it also evokes the tarot cards with their mysterious characters. This reference particularly interests me for its symbolic value since tarot cards as a divinatory tool were almost exclusively used by women in strong medieval matriarchal society, to then be despised during the witch-hunt and largely considered today an esoteric practice (therefore illegitimate).

The smart phone, through its materiality and omnipresence in our daily life, echoes the print card collection. It is interesting to note that its shape and often ratio resembles quite faithfully those of card collectibles we hold in hand, sometimes with a certain fetishism. But, as opposed to a paper card, the smart phone is a “plural” object, able in one item to hold an infinity of images and information for us to receive, backup or share.

It will be particularly interesting to explore the potential of the “share” action allowed by the digital tools (its raison d’être, dynamic and possibilities) to aim a massive circulation of the cards and thus go back to the premises of the project: solidify or create new female historical references to a large audience.

Along the way, it will be necessary to question the selection criteria of what makes a person an historic figure. Is it because of her/his impact of a large number of people? Is it for a great achievement (and what kind)? Is it for a visionary behavior? And to what extend are the usual selection criteria influenced by the patriarchal society? Can women who have to this day marked our memories inspire us to make up new criteria? How will all this shape my role as a “historical curator” in the process?

Léa Jeanmougin

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