Serialmirrors | Elena Pizzato

Serialmirrors (2020) by Elena Pizzato is a series of nine mirrors in which the reflective surface is covered with fur, damask fabric, studs, leather. Each one of these installations bears the name of a woman who over the centuries has been accused of murder, often brutal, and whose history has given rise to dark legends. The only mirror that is not associated with a real woman is the one dedicated to Beatrix Kiddo, a professional murderer in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga. In this case, Madame Popova or Alexe Popova is a woman who lived in Russia between the 1800s and 1900s known as “the avenger of wives” or “the avenger of women” as she helped about 300 women to poison their violent husbands.

The women narrated by Pizzato are fascinating, seductive, their complex personality is not content with covering the traditional gender role assigned to them on the contrary, she accepts to commit heinous crimes to affirm his own individuality: the choice of the mirror as a representative object is also linked to its function as a fetish and the perturbing charm it exerts on who observes it as fascinating and disturbing is the story it tells.

Unlike a traditional mirror, however, those by Pizzato do not reflect the image of the observer, but their function is resolved in catalyzing the attention on the woman from whom it takes the name and her story of rebellion. The mirror therefore acts as a point of contact between real and fictitious narratives that Pizzato sews together to tell stories of women who do not accept to allow themselves to be defined by conventions, at any price.

Elena Pizzato, MADAME POPOVA (from Serialmirrors), mixed media, 2020
courtesy the artist