Mathilde ter Heijne’s work often challenges attributes that patriarchal social structures have assigned to men and women over the centuries. The sound sculptures F.F.A.L. (Fake Female Artist Life, 2003–ongoing) explore various female artist identities within this framework. In using life-size figures, Ter Heijne lends a body and her voice to various fictional or historical artists. She cast her own face and hands as a template, so the dummies bear a strong physical resemblance the artist herself. The personalities and their utterances are conveyed to the viewer via a recorded soundtrack. While some of the invented artist biographies (like that of Dutch copper engraver Geertruydt Roghman ) have historical roots, others are purely fictional, as in the case of artists Elvire Goulot, Elaine Risley and Ueno Otoko, or Madonna from the novel Shanghai Baby by Chinese writer Zhou Weihui. The works aim to supplement an incomplete art history with (fictional) female protagonists.
This project has been shown
Any Day Now, Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, 2011
Any Day Now, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, 2010
Shanghai Biennial, 2006