Female Executioner exhibition opens at Gasworks later this month
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Gasworks’ upcoming exhibition Female Executioner is Glasgow-based artist Jamie Crewe’s first solo exhibition in London. Opening on 26th January, the exhibition will focus on the work Monsieur Venus: A Materialist Novel by the French writer Rachilde.
Jamie Crewe, Cover design for Monsieur Venus, drawn with a knife, 2016. Gasworks, London
First published in Belgium in 1884, Monsieur Venus discusses themes of gender and sexuality whilst considering the Victorian notion of morality. The novel follows a relationship between two characters: Raoule de Vénérande, a masculine aristocratic woman, and her mistress Jacques Silvert, a working class boy.
In the novel, the inversion of the characters' genders, as well as the effects of sexual jealousy, conservatism and class power on their relationship, causes tension and leads to punishment for their transgressions.
Displaying newly-commissioned video, sculpture, print, and text-based works, Female Executioner discusses the implications of historical reclamation by exploring Jamie Crewe’s response to the novel.
In Female Executioner, the artist draws upon their own personal history and experience of transness to rework and deliberately misread Monsieur Venus’ radical and moralising aspects. Reflecting on the novel from the perspective of a queer, transfeminine artist, the exhibition offers a contemporary reading of the representation of gender inversion in the historical work of fiction.
Describing Female Executioner, Jamie Crewe has said that it is “seething under its own references” as it “tries to touch the past, and is struck by the past in response.”
Female Executioner will be on display at Gasworks, London, from 26 January - 26 March 2017.For more information, you can visit Gasworks’ website here