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IntraVenus

Christine Wilks

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In terms of female icons, the Muse is perhaps the most classical and contentious.In Greek mythology there were nine of the Goddesses: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania. Although they ruled over both the arts and sciences, they were more commonly associated with the inspiration of poets, artists and musicians.

Throughout the centuries, the Muse has been depicted as a woman of beauty, the artist’s model and the object of the male gaze. Think of works like Vermeer’s Allegory of Painting (The Painter in His Studio) or Courbet’s The Painter’s Studio, A Real Allegory. In these paintings, ’she’ is there to inspire ‘him’; she is the mute catalyst, unleashing his creativity.

But what if you’re a woman who wants to create? How can you position yourself within this highly engendered history of archetypes? In her piece, IntraVenus, artist/writer Christine Wilks grapples with the representation of the Muse from a female perspective. Through a series of projections on her own body, she visually explores and distorts Titian’s Venus of Urbino. As nudes overlap to become one, a beguiling voice beckons: “Come lie with me… don’t write…don’t tell stories”. The protagonist, intoxicated by her Muse, oscillates between seduction, resistance and complete assimilation.

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Read the interview with Christine Wilks about IntraVenus

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A Dutch term for a negative or derogatory name appropriated and reclaimed as a positive label of empowerment. Add Geuzennaam...