Marta Cariello

Walking Out of the Museum: The Reconfiguration of Modernism in Mohja Kahf's "Thawrah des Odalisques at the Matisse Retrospective"

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Muslim women's bodies, polyglossia, archive, Matisse

This article explores Syrian-born author Mohja Kahf's poem "Thawrah des Odalisques at the Matisse Retrospective" (2003) as a transtextual 'intervention' on the paradigmatic Modernist representation of reified female bodies. Kahf re-writes the subjectivity and agency of the women in Matisse's paintings in a translational construction of a feminist, postodalisque subjectivity. The archival practices that have construed the predicament of modernity, namely the museum and the canons of 'modern' art, come undone in a post-colonial and feminist critique of the dominant narrative of modern (Western) identity.

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