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Modern fairy tale

Modern fairy tale
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The world has changed in leaps and bounds from the time of castles, dragons and Prince Charmings. For princesses, the present world is far more dangerous and difficult.

According to the catalogue essay written by Rosalyn D'Mello's alter-ego, Madam Sosostris, Princess Pea’s existence can be explained as a potential antidote to the pressures of conformity, a force that is opposed to the absurd yet unquestioned standards of beauty to which women must aspire.

'"Princess" has dual significance, as a humanising, subversive presence, and as a reference to the historical oppression of women by encouraging little girls to want to be princesses waiting eagerly for their prince, damsels in distress waiting to be rescued, socialising them to be precious and delicate, to be seen but not heard, to be obedient and subservient, to not upset the order of things, to not question authority, to perform the roles expected of them, to be daughters and mothers and grandmothers, all the while repressing their sexuality for the greater good of society, and most of all, to let their destinies be governed entirely by the powers that be. Through her carefully constructed alter ego, our anonymous female artiste seeks to challenge our conception of what constitutes femininity.

Born out of her childhood insecurities, being continually pecked about being abnormally underweight while hearing her sister being chided for the opposite, and her failed artistic encounters with the concept of perfection, the giant, destabilizing head that is Princess Pea is an act of creative resistance.

Inadvertently, Princess Pea inherited her feminist legacy from Simone de Beauvoir, who argued that the very concept of "woman" is framed by the male gaze. Woman is always the "other" because the male is the "seer": he is the subject and she the object, what it is to be a woman is a framework described in relation to men. It is no wonder, then, that women’s perceptions of their own bodies are negatively constructed, that the ideals to which they aspire continue to be dictated by patriarchy, that the pressure to conform to these oppressive ideals is only accentuated as one passes from girlhood to womanhood.'

'The female body continues to be a site of constant contestation. Her existence continues to be defined by a series of struggles that are unique to her gender, to her status as a member of the second sex. Women are pecked, jostled, and teased. And if woman is to exonerate herself from the clutches of patriarchy, she must reinvent herself. Her redemption must emanate from her,' writes Madame Sosostris. 

WHERE: Exhibit 320, F – 320, Lado Sarai WHEN: On Till 10 October Timing: 10:30am to 6:30pm (Sunday closed)


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