Les Spectaculaires - María María Acha-Kutscher

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Les Spectaculaires is part of a wider artistic project, Womankind, the most intimate and intuitive work of Maria Maria Acha-Kutscher. The successive series of photocollages that are joining up in this project offer a subtle rereading of the image of modern woman constructed by photography. Her complex cultural identity, with Creole, Chinese and African roots on one hand, and a legendary world, with dreamlike tinges, transmitted by her grandmother Irmgard, of German origin and exiled from Nazism on the other, come out in the compositions.


The series Les Spectaculaires is special within the artist’s line of work. The protagonists are women who were affected by some type of ‘abnormality’. Women with an exceptional physical condition that makes them unique, like lacking arms or legs, being too short or too tall, having a hairy face or the joint bodies of Siamese sisters. The original photographs, on which the author worked, are from the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, when these women were still working in circuses, where they exhibited as human oddities. Paradoxically, many of them enjoyed a more comfortable and independent life than they would have expected in the case of having been born ‘normal’. The collages created by Maria Maria Acha-Kutscher have a hypnotising visual intensity. The Spectaculaires are invested with great dignity, in restrained images, where the artist has done few manipulations, but precise and subtle. She only uses the strictly necessary manipulations to defy conventions about women’s body, built from the male perspective, and to establish a series of disturbing relationships between the ideas of beauty, illness, violence and power.

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