I am your fantasy – Teresa Bracamonte

Know yourself, self-portrait Teresa Bracamonte

Peruvian artist and resident in Paris since 2017, Teresa Bracamonte who worked as a model from 18 to 26 years old was immersed in the world of beauty and the use of her image for commercial purposes, she decided to ‘play the game’ to finance her artistic projects. For the exhibition, ‘I am your Fantasy’ Teresa created a neon installation written in the artist’s hand in luminous red, evoking the red advertising neon lights that mark sexual exploitation districts. 

In this exhibition she asks to what extent we are capable of alienating ourselves to satisfy the desire of the other? “I am your fantasy” is an artistic exploration of women as objects of desire. It is a critique of the objectification, sexualization and hypersexualization of women. 

Self-portraiture has become for Bracamonte a tool of empowerment that allows her to assert herself and highlight subjects that are both universal and intimate. In seeking acceptance Bracamonte wonders if we are in danger of forgetting who we are or who we really want to be, and become a fantasy, specifically someone else’s fantasy?

Bracamonte describes her work as a cry of emancipation, she invites women to react, to take back possession of their body, their image, their life.

The exhibition is a mixture of photographs and paintings. Bracamonte has worked with photography for many years, in particular, working with minorities in both Peru and France. The most striking image in the exhibition is a self-portrait, which takes its title from the most well-known maxim of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi: “Know yourself”. “Knowing yourself is an existential question,” says Bracamonte. “Denying your identity leads to self-destruction.” The image is at first a seemingly traditional image of Salomé, who has become over the centuries the most infamous of femme fatales. Salomé looks out at us with a sardonic smirk. Instead of John the Baptist, we see Salomé’s head on the platter. 

There is a series of photos of the artist as an inflatable doll. The photographs are redolent of the work of Cindy Sherman, an artist whose work Bracamonte “loves”. Sherman also examines culture, identity, the ‘male gaze’ and how women are represented. 

“Self-portraiture has become for me a tool of empowerment that allows me to assert myself and highlight subjects that are both universal and intimate,” says Bracamonte. “To what extent do we end up alienating ourselves and losing our identity, which becomes a fiction, an illusion? Do we forget who we are or who we really want to be, and become a fantasy, someone else’s fantasy?”

Food for thought…

The exhibition is open from 13 – 25 October, open on Wednesday through to Saturday, 14:00 – 18:00 at the Galerei Émilie Dujat, rue Simonis 33.