Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
This project began last summer when I visited Mass MOCA to see Anselm Kiefer's Women of the French Revolution installation. Using images from a November 2019 exhibition of my works, as well as a newly embroidered tapestry based on "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité," three ideals that appeared during the French Revolution, I share my fascination with this period of French history from a feminist perspective. I must also acknowledge the influence of Krzysztof Kieślowski's films: Red, White, Blue - Three Colours trilogy (1990s). The flags of both France and the US share red, white, and blue and maybe on a good day, we share (as allies) not just the colors, but the ideals of liberty, equality and brotherhood/sisterhood .
Detail of my Tricolor Tapestry (Mme Roland)
Women of the Revolution, an installation (1992/2013) by German artist Anselm Kiefer, became embedded in my memory after visiting Mass MOCA in July 2019. The twenty lead beds, with scraps of paper tacked on the wall above each bed were inked with women’s names. What was Kiefer memorializing? I discovered that Jules Michelet’s 1854 study Les Femmes de la Revolution was Kiefer’s inspiration. Lest we forget the brave women who died for the radical idea of replacing the monarchy with a democracy, Kiefer’s installation suggests they live on in values we continue to cherish today.