Natalia Mali

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Part of the exhibition "Three women. Three Possibilities of Happiness. Musrara", The Musrara Residency Program

Kala (The Bride)
This series of photographs is a projection of a middle-aged woman’s dreams. In this conceptual project, the protagonist enjoys her fantasise about a husband-to-be, going through the whole range of different male archetypes.  She imagines various men, guessing what her future husband is going to look like. At the same time, the bride always remains unchanged. One of her hands is streched forward in imitation of a protective gesture of the Virgin Mary. Here the artist has re-interpreted and re-imagined traditional gesture of Christian iconography.  The gaze of the woman is boldly directed at the viewer, indicating her active involvement. Her whole appearance is quite ambiguous and controversial;  and the reputation is far from spotless. She presents herself in a disguise behind which she conceals her secret desires.
Here the artist challenges the viewer to re-consider the traditional role of a bride and wife: according to the Laws of the Tora the woman is not supposed to fantasize about men but should remain modest and devout, dedicating her thoughts to God alone.  
The artist critically delves into this phenomenon, exploring how this traditional model works (or does not work) in the contemporary society where a woman has simultaneously to meet highly conflicting demands imposed upon her by the traditional model and by the contemporary society. As a result, the artist attempts to imagine and embody this controversy in a figure of a woman who is trying to reconcile and satisfy these conflicting demands.

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