Hadaly and Sowana, Cyborgs and Witches

Exhibition curated by Cécile Babiole — 2019

>>> 12.10.2019 > 25.01.2020 at Espace Gantner, Bourogne

  • "Hadaly & Sowana exhibition" visual by Nadia Diz Grana

The exhibition is based on the fantasy novel The Future Eve by French writer Auguste de Villiers de L’Isle-Adam. Its curation was entrusted to Cécile Babiole, an artist who works on gender and technology. She has titled the exhibition Hadaly and Sowana, Cyborgs and Witches, and offers a contemporary re-reading of the novel, which was first published in 1886.

The exhibition Hadaly and Sowana, Cyborgs and Witches reappropriates the theme of technology, conceived as both rational and magical, replacing the novel’s mysogynistic vision with one that is broader and free of stereotypes.

Technology is not only the preserve of mechanistic male geniuses who recreate women (defective women, naturally) according to their fantasies, but also an ensemble of knowledge and practices shared by women (witches, midwives, healers, etc.) and used for the survival and care of the community since time immemorial.

Informed by A Cyborg Manifesto by philosopher Donna Haraway, who transcends binarisms and rejects the boundaries between organism and machine, and also inspired by the ecofeminism of Starhawk that regenerates the concept of a living and sacred mother earth, the exhibition brings together artists who question technologies in the broadest sense, and their relationships to the body.

Artists like Annie Abrahams, Caroline Delieutraz, Camille Ducellier, Lynn Hershmann, Kaori Kinoshita and Alain Della Negra, Albertine Meunier, Julie Morel, Aniara Rodado, Tabita Rezaire, Christine Tamblyn, Suzanne Treister, Stéphane Degoutin, Agathe Joubert, Lola Perez-Guettier and Gwenola Wagon reinvent the figures of the cyborg or the witch, as symbols of power, resistance, irony and utopia.