All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Evil by Design: The Creation and Marketing of the Femme-Fatale in 19th-century France|
|This presentation summarizes my search for the origins of the femme-fatales of the French Belle Epoque (1885-1900). Scholars including Virginia Allen and Bram Dijkstra believed the femme-fatale was linked to the rise of feminism but their comparisons between Salon paintings and the documents of feminism proper yielded little definitive evidence of antifeminist or misogynistic tendencies. Similarly the use of sinuous plant forms, including large threatening blossoms within Art Nouveau images has engendered discussion of Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal (1857) without an explanation of the nearly thirty-year gap between the appearance of his book and the decorative art movement near the end of the century. The nature of the Academic system of art training which encouraged artists to look at earlier paintings, not popular culture, served to reinforce this gap; it is one reason that Art Nouveau is discussed today as a movement not of the "fine" arts, but of the "decorative" or "popular" arts.
Several years of research on inter-related themes present in literature, illustrated journals, advertisements and other manifestations of popular culture have allowed me to trace the development of the French attitude towards women at century’s end. The themes have in common concepts and characteristics associated with the Biblical Eve—from "Paradise" to curiosity, temptation, sin, sexuality and even the creation of the first clothes. These provide the basis for investigation of prototypical manifestations of the femme-fatale found in popular culture as early as the1860s. It is within these images of the contemporary woman—the Filles d’Eve of the nineteenth century—that an intersection of the mythologizing forces of the patriarchal system and agitations of a "new woman" in her many forms takes place. The sexually aggressive image of woman demonstrates the power of contemporary women on the brink of liberation to engender fear within the male population. Artists who drew these images attempted to control what they believed to be the subversive nature of woman through their definition of her characteristics. This presentation will consider the development of the femme-fatale in popular media and interpret her importance against the larger narrative of gender relations during the last quarter of the nineteenth century in Paris. |