Dangerous Curves

February 09 - March 23, 2024

The relationship between performativity and the gaze has always been central to Jemima Stehli’s artistic practice. Her photographic works of the late 1990s and early 2000s often cite well-known imagery by established male artists such as Francis Bacon, Allen Jones and Helmut Newton, which she re-stages with her own body.

At the time, Stehli was criticized for allegedly participating in her own objectification. From today’s perspective, her works must be understood as a complex statement between homage and critique, challenging notions of gender, power, and complicity in the representation of the female nude. The self-exposure of her own body, the role of narcissism and even seduction proves an interesting vessel for Stehli’s critical commentary. 

Her hybrid position as the subject/object of the work reminds us that Stehli is staging situations and performing images, rather than merely depicting them.