Last year, when I was on vacation in Yang Shuo, China with my partner Barry, I was asked if I was interested in taking part in the ‘Mirror Mirror‘ exhibition in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. I was thrilled to read about the exhibition outlines, which turned around the life of Suzy Solidor, a French, homosexual nightclub-owner and singer, who got famous in Paris in the 1930’s. It was a great holiday surprise!
I had six months time to come up with a concept and making the piece. I was very thankful about the freedom in taking time, since it allowed me to conduct a lot of research and to play with multiple ideas, although I have to admit that I reach my true potential, when I am working under time-pressure. I am a true last-minute worker!
Researching Suzy was very exciting and sometimes full of surprises. I cought myself thinking that this woman really lived her life in full and that she did not leave any opportunity unanswered or open. I could feel a little jealousy creeping up from now and then, questioning the corners in which I could push myself further and explore. But then, I always consider the price and consequences my environment and I would have to pay and my desires readjust. I got the impression that consideration and respect was not necessarily always Suzy’s strength. In my opinion, she was a split character, living the highs but at the same time fighting with her own devils.
Here is my artist statement about ‘Yin+-Yin’:
Suzy & Suzy (‘Yin+-Yin’)
Suzy Solidor created a lot of myths, some during her lifetime, some after her passing.
‘Yin+-Yin’ is about the Suzy Solidor of my imagination.
A woman who seemed to know exactly what she wanted.
A sparkling and sexy super- woman on one side, self-centered, self-serving and spot-light addicted on the other.
The word ‘Yin+-Yin’ derives from the Chinese Yin and Yang, female and male. To every part belongs a counterpart. In Suzy’s case, being a celebrated lesbian, her counterpart must therefore also be female.
This results in two Yins: One positive Yin and one negative Yin.
‘Yin+-Yin’ is made from several elements. Suzy’s portrait, Suzy’s legendary heart brooch (pierced from two sides), the double-sexed zucchini flower, the crab and the uterus as the bearing spine of the piece, carrying a light in each ovary. The lights can be switched on, one at a time, putting the focus on either the Yin+ or -Yin side of Suzy. Each element stands for one of Suzy’s characteristics, where seeing them as a whole creates the completed image of Suzy.
‘Yin+-Yin’ is, just like its person of inspiration, a very versatile piece. It is meant to be worn on the belly, the center of femininity, but it can also be worn as a brooch or neckpiece.
Here is the piece, worn as a belt. I wanted to find a display for the piece that underlines femininity in every aspect and I decided to have it worn on the belly, around the area of the uterus.
This is the jewel worn as a neckpiece. The chain can be taken off entirely and the piece can also be worn as a brooch.
Here is the list of the participating artists and some pictures of the show at Espace Solidor.
Unfortunately, in most cases, I don’t know which artist made which piece. So, if you happen to know who made which object, please let me know and I will tag it!
Emmanuel Lacoste – ‘La Vie Parisienne’
Maisie Broadhead – ‘Ssssssssuzy’
I hope you like ‘Yin+-Yin’ and that you can make it to the exhibition in either France or the USA. If you do, please write me a line and send me a pic! I would very much appreciate it!
See you there!
PS: Yang Shuo in the rain.