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Exhibition: between submission and aesthetics, the paradoxes of the veil

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"Veiled Woman – The Silence" (ca 1850-1880), by Giovanni Strazza, Carrara marble, plinth and shower. NICE, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

An arm and a lock of hair come out of a large white veil, which folds and plays with the sun. The subject's face is hidden by a mirror reflecting the rock. This surrealist photograph taken in 1937 by Herbert List on Lycabettus Hill, Athens, seems to bring the questions posed by the representation of the veil in art, brought to light by the exhibition. Â € œVeiled / Unveiledâ €, at the royal monastery of Brou, in Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain). Does the woman or man, partially hidden for religious or customary reasons, not lose their individuality? At the same time, the veil, this supple, unsewn garment that covers the upper part of the body, and especially the head, is affirmed here as an artistic attribute, a material that creates beauty and beauty. ™ Ã © riddle. Like this statue of Saint Monica veiled, which covers the portal of the church adjacent to the exhibition hall.

Director of the Royal Monastery, Commissioner Pierre-Gilles Girault wished "Give some elements of understanding to get out of politics" with a trip divided into four stages: the customary sails, the sacred ones, the ones put in scene, then the unveils. The garment is thus approached under all its prisms, religious or not, feminine or masculine â € "the third work presented is a sculpture of a Tuareg aurà © olà © of his chà ¢ ¨che blue. The use of inclusive writing for the title aims to question the place of gender in the wearing of the veil. "It is mostly worn by women, but represented by men …" If the point of view changes, does the veil fall? AT", asks the Commissioner.


The exhibition, which ranges from Antiquity to contemporary works, essentially reunites Western artists, the wearing of this garment not being spread in the South-American cultures. ricaines, for example, and the figuration of the living being controversial in Sunni Islam. She associates the portrait of the mother of Rembrandt covered with a veil of mourning Veiled woman â € " The silence (1850), the sculptor Giovanni Strazza; "The Green-eyed Afghan" photographed by Steve McCurry at the kitsch and sensual staging of model Zuleika by Pierre and Gilles.

Some works are Orientalism, like the painting of Henri-Antoine Leopold Dubois de Moulignon revolving a Arab beggar (1860) breastfeeding her baby in Algiers. If the face is completely veiled, with the exception of the left eye, the torn tunic offers the breast, flank, groin and thigh … Lâ € | Hanging also tries out parallels. Are on the coast side the portrait of two young Egyptian girls laughing and veiled, one carrying a jug of water on his head, taken by an anonymous around 1900, and the canvas of Julien Dupré, a Milk carrier : a peasant Picardy with two buckets of milk and yellow scarf tied on the hair.