To think about the representation of the Republic, I decided to work on the symbol of Marianne.
The idea was to question the choice of a woman to express the republican values: By studying this allegorical figure, I found it a curious choice to express values like strength and freedom, while women, even if the situation is evolving, have been often dominated and considered weaker than men.
To me, it looks like a projection on a woman of what she should be, and what she should incarnate, but without her own opinion. Like a symbol for men, made by men, but using a woman in what she does best: Representation. But as she does not have a word to say about it, she finds herself tighten up in the image associated to her. Moreover, some values associated to this figure are clearly not peculiar to women, and their symbols have to be found elsewhere.
For instance, to be recognized powerful, women often refer to men's codes and try to fit into them. So I tried to create my own images of this loss of balance.
But questioning the symbol is also a way to unveil some statements about genders. Why are some values still attached and often considered characteristic of men or women? If the concept of the Republic is supposed to carry strong universal values such as freedom and equality, is there another way to express them? So the other part of the work consisted in thinking of other ways to talk about strength, about freedom, about equality, and of other ways to represent them. I thought it could be relevant to catch emotions like anger or confinement, trying to create images with bewildering message. Maybe it is more interesting to have some images that do not give answer, but ask some questions.