Based on the work of the Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, the video installation "Europa's Daughters" leads the viewer into a romanticized illusion. The daughters of the mythical figure of Europa, which herself was passive, abducted by Zeus and symbolizes the European continent, emancipate themselves from the grip of patriarchy. The emancipation of women in Europe is widely considered as completed and the different characters in this video show its stages of development. However, these symbolist characters also question if this development isn't just an idle wish.
In an exhibition it's envisaged that all four films are exhibited side by side on upright screens with a frame in Art Nouveau style to enhance the painting effect.
The Morning symbolizes the awakening of self-awareness and self-responsibility of women. She educates herself and liberates from the corset and the old notions of femininity. Like the jewel that she is carrying, the front exudes the charm of a pearl necklace, but behind the facade it is a narrow cage.
The Midday is the peak of power she gains by entering the patriarchal game of power. She rises and has the final say, she shines like the sun of noon, the zenith of the food chain. For this she gave up attributes that are recognized as typically female.
The Eve represents the reinvention of femininity and sexuality of women. She is not sensual and feminine to come up to the ideals. Neither is she the wicked temptress nor the blessed virgin as women were often polarized in history, but redefines herself in between with a natural and passionate self-awareness. According to this she fells the tree of knowledge, which started the blaming and characterization of womanhood in European tradition as we know it today.
According to the principle "all cats are grey at night" the Night gives space for the post gender androgyny, where people are no longer categorized into genders. Her beauty is not determined by foreign ideals but by inner values she reflects outward. This is the most utopian illusion of the series, in terms of today's Europe.
Concept & Realisation: Nilgün Akıncı
Styling, Costumes: Nilgün Akıncı, Ludwika Jakubowska
Jewellery: Monster Rose
Music: Unicorn Ensemble, "Saltarello #4"
© Nilgün Akıncı
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