Jane Eyre.Wuthering Heights.The Awakening.The Lifted Veil. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” What these works have in common is, of course, that they’re all pieces of fiction written by women authors in the 19th century. Undoubtedly as a result, they all share an explicit or latent fixation with the domestic sphere to which so many women were relegated at the time — and with the psychological implications of that confinement.
These are the subjects of Julia Callon’s Houses of Fiction, a series of photographed models that depict rooms from these novels, exploring both their sedate surfaces and their chaotic subtext. “The dichotomous representation of women — mad or sane — is crucial to represent in this series,” Callon writes. “Therefore, each story is presented as a diptych: one image represents the passive, subservient woman, while the other represents ‘madness.’”
The cabaret scene shown in the current lot was intended for reproduction in Variétés, a Belgian publication dedicated to Surrealism. Depicted are among the leading thinkers, writers and artists who reflected the Surrealist spirit in their work. These include, standing: Hans Arp, Jean Caupenne, Georges Sadoul, André Breton, Pierre Unik, Yves Tanguy, Cora, André Thirion (shown from behind, facing Cora), René Crevel, Suzanne Musard, and Frédéric Mégret (shown with cigarette). Seated at the front of the table are Elsa Triolet, Louis Aragon, Camille Goëmans, and Madame Goëmans. The unidentified costumed figures were all employees of the cabaret at the time. [from Phillips de Pury catalogue]