GENDER ISSUESPenny Siopis, Doraand the OtherWoman (1988), pastelon paper
Dora and the Other Woman• Dora was a 19th Century hystericwhom Freud had psycho-analysed• the theme of hysteria• ‘dis-ease’ rather than ‘disease’• Siopis cast herself in the role ofDora• a feminist perspective / genderissue Penny Siopis, Dora and the Other- visual evidence of ‘resistance Woman (1988), pastel onand rebellion against patriarchy’ paper
• the ‘Other Woman’ in the title – who could she be? - a reference to ‘hysteria’ as a symptom of the ‘otherness’ of woman in ‘scientific’ studies of the disorder - SOCIAL COMMENTARY – a gender issue • Also - it refers to SarahPenny Siopis, Dora and the BaartmanOther Woman (1988), pastelon paper • who was Baartman? Explain briefly.
Left: Detail • caricatures of Baartman that appeared in the popular press in 19th Century England and France are pinned to Dora’s drape or scattered on the floor • Fascinating to Europeans because she manifested the condition of steatopygea (enlarged buttocks) and because of the formation of her genitals known as the ‘Hottentot apron’• Baartman could be likened to Dora: if nineteenth-century Europeansinterpreted Baartman’s anatomy as a sign of her primitive sexuality, theyviewed Dora’s hysteria as a marker of dark primal urges awaiting discovery bythe intrepid explorer/scientist. As Siopis says, ‘Freud’s comment about femalesexuality being “the dark continent” of psychology connects Dora and Saartjie.• How is this a reflection of colonialism and the ‘Romantic’ spirit?
Question [ 12 marks]Read the extract on the previous page and answer the question.HINT: Start with a chunked infographic and then write an essaywith paragraphs.•Penny Siopis often addresses issues of gender and race.Explain how she does this by referring to this painting.•Refer to specific ways in which she uses elements andprinciples of Art & Design to explain the feminist message.•What does Siopis want us to feel about these famous 19thCentury women?•What is meant by the phrase ‘the personal IS political’?