LAURA’ s Gang

LAURA’ s Gang comes alongside Olympia, a painting by Édouard Manet in 1863. We know more or less about the scandal it caused at the 1865 Salon in Paris, but art history has mostly focused on the reclining figure in the foreground - a certain Victorine - and more rarely on the one holding a bouquet of flowers at the back of the bed - a woman named Laure, who lived at 11 rue de Vintimille, near Place Clichy, a 26-minute walk from Manet's studio at 81 rue Guyot in the 17th arrondissement. The frontal gaze of the white woman produced more literature than the gesture of the black woman. Even the cat and the flowers were more commented on.

With LAURA’ s Gangis about reversing the trend. That is to say: to produce a narrative in which Laure and Victorine are named: to invent images in which both models are equal, not only in relation to each other, but also in relation to the painter and art history - which has conscientiously let women down.

Cover photo: LAURA ©Anne Dessertine