Gallery of Heroic Women

© Myriam Thyes, 2019
Source: © Myriam Thyes, 2019

Myriam Thyes

Gallery of Heroic Women ,
Co-workers & Funding
Image footage from movies.
  • Gallery of Heroic Women
    2060 × 1373
  • Gallery of Heroic Women
    2060 × 1230
This series of fictitious portraits deals with fighting and hunting movie heroines and refers to the baroque concept of the ‚Gallery of Heroic Women‘ (book by Pierre Le Moine with illustrations, painting series by Guy François, and others, 16th-17th century). During this period, in European art and literature, an intensive debate about „female“ virtues, fortitude and excellence took place. Why are there so many female protagonists in todays movies and (tv) film series who fight, shoot, hunt, kill? Who are their creators, who their fans? Who are their role models, for whom are they role models? I‘m fascinated by characters like Katniss from The Hunger Games who melds qualities of Jeanne d‘Arc and of a revolutionary, and by Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies. The latter is an action heroine who commiserates with other humans and sacrifices herself for humanity. But Uma Thurman as revenger in Kill Bill and Arya Stark in Game of Thrones cannot be explained with such noble ambitions. Are their characters about emancipation and equality, or about assertiveness, efficiency and optimizing themselves? Or are these strong and partially brutal women – once again – simply angels and demons, created by male phantasies? In any case, these heroines have to perform all virtues formerly split among female and male characters.

Most of these 19 portraits look at the viewer. In ancient times, such gazes painted on bucklers or protective shields, were supposed to impress the adversary and hold demons off. The “ocean” of workout devices on which these portraits are placed refers to the pressure to perform the actresses are subdued.
  • aesthetics
    • installation-based
  • genres
    • digital graphics
    • hybrid art
    • installations
  • subjects
    • Arts and Visual Culture
      • film (discipline)
      • gaze
      • visual culture
    • Body and Psychology
      • facial expression
      • gender
    • Power and Politics
      • heroism
    • Religion and Mythology
      • mythological creatures
    • Society and Culture
      • entertainment
        • parody
      • feminism
Technology & Material
Series of 19 portraits; edited stills from movies, c-prints on oval aluminium plates, 55 x 45 cm each, and printed textile wallpaper (dimensions variable).