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galerie de Roussan, Paris
7 November – 19 December 2015
Presented as part of the UNESCO International Year of Light
in partnership with the Observatory of Paris.
Extract from In the Footsteps of Venus, 2015
This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and has been assisted
by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
The transit of Venus, 2015. Acrylic paint, photoluminescent pigment and ultra-black nanocarbon on
parabolic mirror. 40.5 cm diameter.
with essay Venus and Mars, gendered stars by Laurence Bobis,
director of the library of the Observatory of Paris
translated by Naomi Toth
First Light & β PERSEI exhibition catalogue
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF VENUS
In the footsteps of Venus is an allegorical video, filmed on site at the Observatory of Paris in collaboration with honorary Observatory of Paris astronomer, Suzanne Débarbat. In the footsteps of Venusretraces the history of the women that have worked the Observatory of Paris during the overshadowed era of two centuries, from its establishment in 1671 to the end of World War Two. Close to thirty portraits, rendered in paint and stone, decorate the walls and halls of the building. Of these, only three comprise representations of women: the statue of Notre-Dame de Dessous Terre, a fresco depicting the transit of Venus and a plaster cast of a woman's head that Lily discovered by chance in the Observatory's vegetable garden. Sacred, profane, anonymous; these ciphers occupy the places where specific women might otherwise be named and remembered.
Still from In the footsteps of Venus, realised from a photograph of the calculatrices of the Bureau of the
Carte du Ciel, Observatory of Paris, at the end of the 19th century.
A series of 13 works presented in the form of the constellation Perseus, realised in paint and
photoluminescent pigment on optical mirrors. In these reflective works traces are what have been
retrieved, from which a history might be charted: one woman representing each of the great stars
of the Perseus constellation.