female hysteria 

embroidery and mixed media

2020

The iconic images of hysteria patients by Charcot at the Salpetriere were appropriated by the surrealists in a celebration of insatiable female desire. Charcot often diagnosed his patients in front of a male audience and ‘hypnotised’ into a frenzy. 

 

This series of portraits of Parisian hysteria patients from the 1870’s are presented alongside 17th century anatomical drawings of the womb and female genitalia to draw attention to both the historical and contemporary tendency to discredit and pathologise emotional responses and other characteristics thought of as ‘female.’ The womb, instead of being celebrated as the source of all human life, is and has been labelled a 'trouble maker’ and in need of strict patriarchal guidance and control.  

 

The patients are presented alongside some contemporary comments about hysterical women mostly from internet trolls, and also people in power. These comments show how deeply female sexuality has been pathologised and fetishised.

magdalene asylums

ceramic laundry on the line hiding the shameful images of the magdalene laundries. the church and state joined to incarcerate and enslave tens of thousands of 'fallen' women

mixed media and ceramics

2019

alexandrafraser@hotmail.co.uk

Eindhoven, Netherlands

© 2020 by Alexandra Fraser

KVK 72688823

BTW NL002511151B35