“Territories”

“Territories”, 2015. Archival quality pigment print on Baryté paper, 80 x 120 cm. Edition of 1/8.

I NEVER TOLD ANYONE – APPROACH

Against the backdrop of Belgian folklore and a family history made up of taboo women and carnivalesque and valued men, Bénédicte Vanderreydt stages the members of her family to create a fictional and clandestine space for the expression of such a dangerous , all powerful and repressed femininity.

I Never Told Anyone explores the world of women and their ongoing, sometimes subtle and even unconscious desire to free themselves from the toxic powers of patriarchy.

These seven images represent women in my family who have been oppressed in a male-dominated society. Fusing fact and fiction, I recreate melancholy scenes, revealing stories from my family’s troubled past. Produced in Binche (Belgium), I challenged myself to work only with members of my family, hence the dramatic tension. Besides personal stories, my work also addresses symbolic oppression. Binche is rooted in northern European folklore: its carnival is one of the oldest carnivals in Europe, included in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Also part of our family tradition, the carnival has been organized by men for 500 years. In ancient mythology, women have no voice. Excluded from the ritual, she is reduced to a sexual and mysterious object, reigning in a closed and silent ‘between women’.

That’s where it all began.

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“Territories”, 2015. Archival quality pigment print on Baryté paper, 80 x 120 cm. Edition of 1/8.