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Joana ChoumaliVenus 5 - The Light Awoulaba, 2015-2016
Print size: 22 x 32 cm including white border
"The Awoulaba/Taille Fine project explores contradictory notions of femininity, beauty and body image in contemporary Africa. In Côte d’Ivoire, I documented the manufacturing of mannequins which are often customised for the tastes of the local market, The word ‘Awoulaba’ stands for ‘beauty queen’, referencing a type of woman with impressive measurements: a beautiful face, large breasts, and above all, big buttocks. Taille fine, by contrast, refers to a more common Western standard of beauty. For this work, I superimposed images of real women’s body parts onto the mannequins, evoking the ‘Venus’ celebrities who embody ‘perfect beauty’ in popular culture: from Naomi Campbell to Kim Kardashian."