© 2019 Grace A Williams

ESCAMOTAGE

Slide projection, 200 x 150cm, 2014

 

Taking its name from the Buatier de Kolta illusion 'Escamotage D’une Dame' an 1800s vanishing trick in which the female body was spectacularly disappeared under a heavily patterned covering. Escamotage negotiates the language of the Persian rug as a motif for female vanishing.  The work juxtaposes the violence of enchanted disappearance with the bizarre ‘hidden mothers’ photographs of the Victorian age in which mothers concealed themselves under carpets in order to hold their children still for portraits. The Persian rug is ever present for its ability to simultaneously reveal and conceal an exposure of the female form.  

 

The use of projection onto a darkened surface further enhances the sense of liminality, whilst the gradual degrading of the slide through prolonged contact with the light creates a physical vanishing.