Lucie Mercier: I’m Just A Girl 16 March – 18 May 2024 Ballon Rouge Place du Jardin aux Fleurs, 2 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Ballon Rouge is pleased to present Lucie Mercier’s I’m Just A Girl from March 16 – May 18, 2024. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Belgium. Direct and simple as the title of this exhibition is, and as quotidian as her paintings on paper appear, there is an unavoidable and intrinsic power to Mercier’s works. Think No Doubt’s “Just A Girl.” Think pop approachability underlined by very clear punk feminist politics and aesthetics.
Contemporary artists queering the gaze and standing against old-hat notions of the artist and muse as man and woman, respectively, is not uncommon nowadays. Though, it is important that we not forget that this reversal, refusal, and re-definition of the “male gaze” is a relatively new phenomenon. We are still a part of a world that considers a girl as a powerless, small thing, and a girl’s world as less than. Mercier is queering the gaze and making a girl’s world worthy.
She takes us directly into her universe, her point of view. Her hands or body are present in every work. She is consistently implying a closeness to her subject, whether it be herself, to another, nature, or a situation. She is there as much as the rest. Our gaze is her gaze. She calls these scenes “simple utopias.”
They are sensitive representations of suspended moments where sweetness, anger, and poetry co-exist. These are moments about a girl, a girl thinking about girls, a girl spending time with girls; sometimes this is romantic and sexual, and sometimes it is platonic, or introspective.
Mercier depicts a range of snapshots and moments in degrees. Some works show what many consider foundationally ‘girly’ – doing eachother’s makeup and hair; other works show moments which many would uncomfortably dismiss as explicitly not ‘girly’ – a party scene showing a line atop a key, or a strap-on clad female body. All moments are made equal by Mercier. Each work tells a story of one multi-faceted girl.
Lucie Mercier: I’m Just A Girl opens on the 16th of March until the 18th of May, 2024 at Ballon Rouge
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