A Resource for Performing Artists, Scholars and Audiences.
"Victorine Meurent" is a thirty-minute live art piece that transports an openly lesbian artist of the nineteenth century into the twenty-first century. The work is a tableau vivant or living picture of Édouard Manet’s notorious painting "Olympia" (1863).
In this performance, I recline upon a couch in the 19th Century Gallery, at the National Gallery of Canada, and tell Victorine Meurent’s story as though she were forty years old and looking back upon her life. I reflect upon Meurent’s friendship with Manet, her own painting career, her relationship with her female lover, as well as the politics of being a female artist in the nineteenth century. With "Victorine Meurent", I create a new perspective on an old masterpiece and explore the concept of the other in relation to femininity, prostitution and queer identity.