Screen print: The City of Ladies

25 11 2011
City of Ladies

City of Ladies

Screen print on a transparent panel (white) and on a cotton panel (beige). City of Ladies is titled after Christine di Pizan’s illuminated manuscript The Book of the City of Ladies (1405).

From Wkikpedia (the reader can verify the information with further research of their own) The Book of the City of Ladies is an allegorical society in which the word “lady” is defined as a woman of noble spirit, instead of noble birth. The book, and therefore the city, contains women of past eras, ranging from pagans to saints. The book includes discussion between Pizan and the three female Virtues which are sent to aid Christine build the city. These Virtues – Reason, Rectitude, and Justice – help Christine build the foundations and houses of the city, as well as pick the women who will reside in the city of ladies. Each woman chosen by the Virtues to live in the city acts as a positive example for other women to follow. These women are also examples of the positive influences women have had on society.

Pizan asks the virtues if women should be taught as men are and why men think women should not be educated. Other questions that are explored are: the criminality of rape, the natural affinity in women to learn, and their talent for government.

For this piece, I photographed the women in my “stitch and knit” group.

The centre transparent panel is of the women with their back to me as I photograph them. Viewers walk around to look at the other side and are surprised that they still see the women from the back.

Detail City of Ladies

Detail City of Ladies

City of Ladies Maggie s Dance

The beige panel is of two of the women, one of whom is looking at me as I photograph them. The other, who is a runner, put on a pair of shorts that she sometimes runs in. The shorts have the questionable distinction of sporting a fake bare bum. The other image, at the other end of the panel, is of one of the women’s daughter-in-law who also has her back to me. The rest is for the viewer to figure out.



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