3 Portraits
start stop bwd fwd



  • Portrait I, pencil on paper, 2014, 92x125cm
  • Portrait II, pencil on paper, 2014, 92x125cm
  • Portrait III, pencil on paper, 2014, 92x125cm
  • Questions Claims Video 1
  • Questions Claims Video 2
  • Questions Claims Video 3
  • Questions Claims Video 4
  • Video still Encounters I, one channel video with sound, 25min, 2014,  (2)
  • Video still Encounters I, one channel video with sound, 25min, 2014,

Simple Image Gallery Extended

Eva Marathaki, Questions & Claims
7.1 – 15.2.2014, ART WALL Project Space

In the exhibition Questions & Claims, Eva Marathaki deals with the question of power between the two genders and the course of this issue through history.

In the single-channel video Encounters I, the artist chooses to present the subject of female identity through a presentation of three personalities. Starting from the 16th century and Queen Elisabeth I of England, known as the "Virgin Queen", Marathaki compares female nature with the punching bag used in boxing, a symbol of power and supremacy associated with the male sex. By measuring herself against this phallic symbol, the artist equates female and male power; Queen Elisabeth dares to stand up against male power and subdue it.

In the early 19th century Mary Shelley writes the novel Frankenstein (1818) opens new ways in horror literature and touches upon crucial issues relating to cloning and genetics. The video shows Shelley pinning roses on the punching bag, as a kind of tribute to this symbol.

The third heroine in the video is none other than Simone de Beauvoir, the French writer and intellectual, partner of Sartre and author of The Second Sex (1949) in which she poses questions about how society constructs the female identity in a provocative way for that time. In the video she is shown to inspect the phallic symbol and reverse the genders' roles.
The three women meet and share some tea on the punching box by way of appeasing and appropriating it.
The video has spawned three pencil drawings. Portrait I depicts a piece of pleated fabric; the unyielding, flawless folds, devoid of all traces of sensuality, point to the personality of Queen Elisabeth I. Portrait IΙ depicts a teacup with a rose in it, alluding to the gesture of Mary Shelley. Finally, Portrait IΙΙ starts with a page from Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex; the page is torn and has a crack in the middle—a crack in the form of a sacrifice.

In this project the artist attempts to comment on and contest any notion of "female inferiority" as it has been ingrained for centuries. These women refuse to accept the role ascribed to them by society, representing each an instance of refuting the myth of inequality between the two genders.

Christina Petrinou
Curator of the exhibition


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