Hommage à ... I

Lili Dujourie


Video, 00:21:18.

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK006157).

Hommage à …I (from a series of 5 Hommages, 1972) is one of Lili Dujourie’s first video works. It belongs to the experimental stage of video art, when the technology was still in its infancy. In Hommage à …I, a naked woman – the artist herself – rolls around in white bed-sheets in slow motion. At first it seems that she’s asleep. But after a while she starts to move, rolls in and out of the bed, in a rhythm that makes one think of the twilight state between wakefulness and sleep. The piece is recorded in real-time, without editing. It shows a space that unfolds in time and a figure that’s caught there. Sensuality, the passage of time, boredom – here they go hand-in-hand. The video links to tradition of the female nude, one of art-history’s most venerable motifs. Lili Dujourie deliberately chooses a theme that had no place in the dominant conceptual art-scene of the 1970s. The artist is also her own model, and explains this choice as follows: “The woman has always been ‘the model’, and I wanted to do away with this – as a woman I could hardly manipulate another woman! (…) If you want to evoke the intimacy of the female nude, then you have to do it yourself, you can’t ask a model to do that for you.” Lili Dujourie redefines conventions regarding the relationship between model and maker, between who’s doing the looking and who’s being looked at. The title refers to a homage to art history. No so much one particular image as the whole of art history, all those images that keep resonating in the artist’s memory. The poses that Dujourie assumes are determined by recollections of nudes from art tradition, in her own words “a physical transformation of everything that I’ve seen in my life”.

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