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… At the same time as possessing a sense of the otherworldly, there is also a strongly rooted quality of the everyday, of repetitious tasks and the realities of making in the work of Mildred Rambaud. The artist speaks of how she uses a standard clothes iron to melt wax; she therefore produces epic paper sculptures to be viewed by large audiences following a subverted version of a lowly and domestic female task. Indeed, it is not inappropriate to mention feminism in relation to the work of Rambaud. During the 1970s, feminist artists experimented with ancient motifs rooted in female sexuality, most notably Carolee Schneemann did so with Interior Scroll of 1975, in which during a performance the artist unravels a paper scroll coiled inside her vagina, and reads the words that she has written as they emerge. Rambaud too, displays an interest in archetypal female strength, and the performance piece Porte Papier Ciré (To carry waxed paper), 2008, makes for an interesting comparison to Interior Scroll. In Porte Papier Ciré, Rambaud dances with a lengthy and heavy concertina of paper until the performance reaches a climatic end when the artist does the splits and the folded paper unfolds from her vagina. Interestingly, Francesca Woodman also made a photograph in which she emerges from a sheet of waxed paper holding a shell. This work provides the same glimpse of an entry point to a womb-like world that also re-recalls the luminous and trembling disc pieces by Rambaud already considered…


… although Rambaud need not fight like Joan of Arc, she does not scream like the Expressionists, and nor does she channel anger into her artwork like some Feminists, she does, however, respectfully re-cycle all of these people and times gone by into her own contemporary practice. As an artist, she cleverly, quietly, and with bold confidence carries all that is old, collective and shared into a new, individual and uniquely authored visual story.




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Chasing Rainbows and Forging Swords, 2012

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