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Champagne Life - Saatchi Gallery Catalogue

My forthcoming essay for the Champagne Life catalogue, a group exhibition of female artists held at the Saatchi Gallery, will be available on the opening of the exhibition, 15th January 2016.


Champagne Life, a title drawn from one of the works in the exhibition, is a curiously effervescent name for a show. Ostensibly, it suggests toasts, high living, prestige, and affluence; all qualities that ensured champagne’s potent appropriation in Hip-Hop culture as a demarcation of success when artists successfully transition from economically depressed ghetto to uptown high-life. When applied to an exhibition comprised solely of female artists a bubble of irony bursts, souring that first sip. As an exhibition Champagne Life doesn’t offer an overarching vista of ‘female’ artistic practice, in fact it doesn’t presume to state that there is such a thing at all. Indeed, the interpretation of artwork through the essentialist analytical lens of gender is contentious, but when applied to an analysis of working and market conditions it plainly has a important role to play in approaching persistent issues of inequality both in the art world and further afield. Champagne Life then celebrates the work of a constellation of female artists, and in so doing provides a rare and apposite moment to reflect on what it means to be a female artist working today.

09-18-15 — Julia Dault, Untitled 19, 3:00pm – 8:30pm, February 4, 2012, courtesy of the artist