- Image-making with Jeanne Duval in mind: photoworks by Maud Sulter, 1989−2002
- Book title
- Women, the arts and globalization: eccentric experience
- Pages (from-to)
- Manchester: Manchester University Press
- Rethinking Art's Histories
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This essay focuses on a major theme in the art of Maud Sulter (1960-2008), her long-standing interests in Jeanne Duval. Best known as the model, muse and companion of the poet Charles Baudelaire, Duval was a performer in the entertainment industry of mid nineteenth-century Paris, and one of several African diaspora women who moved in artistic and literary circles. The essay considers Sulter's art and writings, focusing on her renowned series, Zabat, 1989, a series of four photomontages entitled Jeanne: A Melodrama, 1994-2002, and a suite of 9 large-format Polaroid photographs, Les Bijoux 2002, included in the major exhibition she curated for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2003, Jeanne Duval : A Melodrama, which placed her own art work alongside major paintings which depicted or may have portrayed Duval. For Sulter, Duval signifies 'the continuing African presence at Europe's cultural heart and the simultaneous denial and erasure of that presence' . The essay concludes by exploring connections between Sulter's artistic conjuring of Duval and Derrida's thinking on haunting and revenants.
Key words: Jeanne Duval. Maud Sulter. African diaspora. Spectres. Revenants.
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