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Melanie Manchot

FEMINIST ART - Right: Melanie Manchot. Emma & Charlie I, 2001.

'Emma & Charlie I' is the first image in a triptych which belongs to the 'Fontainbleau Series', consisting of four such triptychs in total. The series takes as its starting point the well known anonymous image in the Louvre of Gabrielle d'Estree and her sister in the bath. Throughout its existence this work has over and again caught people's curiosity and attention and has recurred as reference for artists across generations.

Drawn to the very ambiguity of the gesture as well as to the contrast between the intimacy of the touch and the blankness of the protagonists expression I set out to work with different sets of women restaging the situation. The invited women have different types of relationships to each other and how this manifests across the three images is a process of discussion, collaboration and experimentation. In each case I ask the two women to first restage the image itself and to then continue to find gestures and moments of touch while remaining constrained within the confines of the bath.

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