work of Deborah de Robertis

The news had the effect of a bomb in Moselle this Monday. Five works from the Center Pompidou-Metz were tagged and another work was stolen. An action claimed this morning by the Franco-Luxembourgish performer Deborah de Robertis.

The origin of the world », by Gustave Courbet, covered with the inscription “ MeToo », This is what we saw on Monday at the Center Pompidou-Metz. Described as vandalism by some, the authors of the action explained that they wanted to “ challenge art history “, without damaging the works since they were covered with protective glass.

At the Origin of Action, Deborah de Robertis

Four tagged works, one volley. The result of the action is final. This morning on the social network “X”, the performance artist Deborah de Robertis claimed responsibility: “ I am the exclusive organizer of this performance and am waiting to be summoned by the police who know who my lawyer is (@dose_marie). I am in possession of Annette Messager’s work which I have reappropriated and which is now mine. »

The stolen work of Annette Messager happens to be a red embroidery on fabric called “I think therefore I suck” (1991). On this point, the Franco-Luxembourgish performer replied to AFP that it was a work that she knew well. “ I recognized it immediately, I wanted to vomit, because it’s the one that hangs above his marital bed. I remembered the many blowjobs he allowed himself to ask from me as if it was his due “, she detailed in a press release.

A “shock” action for the museum, as for the City

Firstly, Chiara Parisi, the Director of the Center Pompidou-Metz declared: “With all the respect we have for feminist movements, we are shocked to see the works of artists, particularly feminist artists, at the heart of the struggles of art history being vandalized. We condemn acts of vandalism against works of art preserved and presented in museums, also targeting teams on the ground”

The establishment also announced that an investigation had been opened and that the condition of the works was currently under study.

In a press release, François Grosdidier, mayor of Metz and President of the Eurométropole, explained that he was “outraged and shocked by this attempt at degradation”. The politician called the action “ criminal act against a major work of our heritage “. He condemns what he calls a “ new attack on culture, this time produced by feminist fanatics », recalling according to him that: “ All fanatics and extremists, political, religious or otherwise, serve the cause they claim to serve by attacking the common good. The Republic must defend itself against obscurantism and I hope that the perpetrators of this act will be severely condemned. »

Deborah de Robertis, the Franco-Luxembourg artist who leaves her mark

Deborah de Robertis is not her first attempt. Specializing in works related to sexuality and women, she hit the headlines in 2014 at the Musée d’Orsay when she reproduced the Origin of the World, by Gustave Courbet, posing with her legs apart in front of the canvas. Work that she had baptized “ Mirror of Origin“.

“Mirror of the Origin”, Deborah de Robertis, 2014, Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Visual artist, video maker and performer, she works from the point of view of the female model. It challenges the gaze that arises from works depicting female nudity. In 2015, Déborah de Robertis was preparing an exhibition at the Casino Luxembourg but ended up being canceled there. A fact that she denounces as censorship. She will explain on the “On Kraut” platform: “ they invited me as an artist but wanted to expose me as a model. I organized a press conference entitled “A mechanism of censorship” to denounce this mechanism which consists of “denying the point of view of the female sex”.

One of her most notable performances will remain the incident during a Yellow Vest demonstration in 2018 where five topless women presented themselves to the gendarmes with a costume reminiscent of Marianne, the symbol of the Republic.

Five women dressed as Marianne stood in front of the police during the Yellow Vests demonstration on Saturday December 15, 2018.– Valery Hache/AFP
The Rape of Power, a performance by Déborah de Robertis, 2021, Statue of Place Vauban, Paris – Photo Guillaume Belvèze

Find the treatment of the information in last night’s television news, tonight’s news as well as in Zap 57.



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