Salve Regina Souvenir


Beatriz Millar
May 15 - June 12 2011
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art

Duolun Museum presents the latest exhibition of Swiss-Italian artist Beatriz Millar (1967, Einsiedeln), featuring a new body of works that marks her ongoing research on the subject of femininity, a topic that has been investigated by Millar in the past who explores in this project the archaic and spiritual matters related to it. It is also Millar’s first exhibition in China, an exciting opportunity to meet and confront the Chinese audience within the stunning architecture of Duolun Museum and Shanghai’s vibrant cultural life.

The exhibition focuses on the archetypal ideas lying beneath cultural definitions of womanhood. In a textual and visual research, the artist travelled back in time following the origins of the Western concept of womanhood, passing through her personal background, literature and pop culture. Born in a family of bread-makers, Beatriz Millar finds in the action of making, offering and eating bread the essence of creation, the power – a feminine power – of making/creating something with her own hands and body, questioning also the division of intellectual and manual work, of art and crafts.

The new series of photographs titled Dedication form a stunning large size installation that emanates a familiar and comforting atmosphere. The photographs are the result of a performance that took place in Beatriz Millar’s hometown in Italy during a time frame of over one year, in which the artist created a series of woman-shaped bread, took their picture before and after being baked and finally offered them as edible gifts to people involved in various aspects of her everyday life. The installation can be seen as a photographic diary documenting a ritual of transition, the abandoning of a state to embrace a new one. Yet they also function as traces of a simple and intimate celebration of womanhood and friendship. Along with the photographic installation, tangible bread sculptures are exhibited, resembling idols of fictional ancient human populations, set in plexiglass cases that – contrasting with the simplicity of a material like bread – accentuate the sacral aura of these objects. Their voluptuous, scary, skinny and funny shapes underline the unpredictability of the final result, placing the artist in the position of ultimately accepting the limits of her role-play by leaving the last passage of the creative process in the hands of a natural chemical reaction.

Through a new video work, the artist explores the imperceptible transformations of the elements forming the bread dough, its change of color and consistency, the inaudible sound of the elements being mixed together and the shift of state, chemical transformations around which revolve the idea of creation.

The opening night will start with a performance of the artist, who will bake and offer to the members of the audience small edible women, continuing the ongoing process that generated the entire project. The first floor of Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, is going to be the place in which through the action of creating an ephemeral work of art, sharable and physically assimilable, a new chapter of the artist’s fictional diary will be written with the precious contribution of Shanghai’s viewers, shifting the exhibition towards a consequent extension of its research field.

Art Media Agency
Private view: 4pm, 15 May 2011
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art
27 Duolun Road 200081 – Shanghai
Tel: +86 21 65872530 65875996