Léa Lublin, Dissolution dans l’eau Pont Marie – 17 heures, 1978
Léa Lublin
Dissolution dans l’eau Pont Marie – 17 heures

Léa Lublin (*1929 †1999, Argentina) graduated in 1949 from the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires and initiated her artistic career as a painter. During the mid-1960s, interested in exploring different materials and media, she became associated with the Centro de Artes Visuales of the Institute Torquato di Tella, an important centre of Argentinean experimental and avantgarde art. In 1968 Lublin performed “Mon Fils” in Paris: during the exhibition hours the artist took care of her baby at the museum, acknowledging gender and social life as major materials of her work. During the end of the 1960s, Lublin also created a number of participatory sensory environments in Chile and Argentina. In “Terranauts” (1969), the visitors experienced smells, tactile sensations, music and found written signs such as “art will be life.” Deeply influenced by French feminism — she eventually moved to Paris where she died in 1999 — Lublin was interested in de-conditioning perception and normative modes of relation both in art and in everyday life. Her critique of artistic representation can also be seen as a commentary on dominant forms of representation regulating everyday life, particularly gender and sexuality.

“Is woman a sexual object?”; “Is woman an inferior being?”; “Is woman private prop- erty?” are some of the questions posed by Lublin in one of her performances from the 1970s: Dissolution dans l’eau Pont Marie – 17 heures (Dissolution in water Pont Marie – 17 hours). For this piece the artist composed a series of stereotyped interrogations about women, printed them on a white banner, hung it over the Seine River, and dropped it down to be factually and symbolically dissolved by the flowing water. The performance took place during a day of actions in Françoise Janicot’s workshop in Paris, organised in the context of the Collectif Femmes/Art, a group of women artists who were active from 1976 to 1980. Five of the women artists successively staged performances for more than twelve hours. EF

Performance: Paris, 11 March 1978

Courtesy Nicolas Lublin

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Françoise Janicot’s (JAN 1)
Nil Yalter (YAL 2)

public space, femininity, stereotypes, normativity