Kingdom of Bahrain Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Curator Melissa Enders Bhatia, Venice, Italy
Victory is inspired by Henri Regnault’s Automedon with the Horses of Achilles, 1868. The work pays homage to that painting, with inspiration from great feminists. The artist is replacing Automedon with her self-portrait, but it is not only ‘her self’; the depiction encapsulates other historical heroines from the East and West such as Shajarat Al-Durr, the Trưng Sisters, those in Shahnameh and Rabaa Al-Adawiya, and women from the West like Joan of Arc, Brunhilde and Queen Artemisia.
In this large-scale charcoal drawing, the artist, through the use of symbolism to create narrative, examines the subject of ‘conquest’ from the perspective of an Arab woman.