Summer 2014 Resident: Sara Shaoul
Summer 2014 Resident: Born in the U.S., Sara Shaoul was raised in Hong Kong, Singapore, the Ivory Coast and Japan. In 2009, she began focusing on visual art as the natural integration of her studies in art history and cultural anthropology and her experience as a musician and a photo editor. Her practice explores the scaffolds of human interaction and experience, from bureaucratic institutions to the family. She creates installation, performance, audio and video, often in combination, and is focused on how personal narratives intersect with social history.
About the project: My project takes as a starting point the growing presence in the middle class American consciousness of a structured binary relationship between the French woman and the American woman. Perhaps jump-started by the success of the best selling book French Women Don’t Get Fat, in 2004, magazine articles, books, blog posts, and other forms of popular media have increasingly positioned the French woman as a kind of “other” who has completely avoided the minefield of neuroses most American women are in some way navigating.
I am fascinated by the location of this binary in the female body - its self-care, its sexual, reproductive and parenting experiences, and its relationship to other bodies and to the state. The material of my work will be the visual and ideological collection of truths, myths, fantasies, and projections that I have been collecting in the U.S. and will now have the opportunity to research in France. How do French women view themselves with respect to these bodily terms, and how they construct or consider the American woman, if at all? I will be creating drawings, sculpture, audio, video and text pieces that explore this complex intersection point of history, feminism, cultural codes, and social, economic and political systems