Joséphine Baker (1906-1975) & Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986)
By ORLAN (Saint-Etienne, 1947)
Collage, watercolor, felt pen and nail polish on paper
« From two antagonistic backgrounds, they have had two exceptional trajectories, liberated, emancipated, extremely active, devoted to their art and at the same time lives as novels. »
Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her painful childhood in a city marked by racial segregation will be the starting point of a fight for life. A Parisian since 1925, she became famous thanks to the show La Revue Nègre where she danced to a Charleston rhythm. Divorced four times, bisexual and militant, she became a figure of resistance during the Nazi occupation. She continues thereafter to be involved, alongside the Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King in particular.
Simone de Beauvoir is a French intellectual and major figure of 20th century feminism. Her work Le Deuxième Sexe (1949) is the starting point for the analysis of gender as a social construction, distinct from the biological sex. She was one of the signatories of the Manifesto of 121 (1960) declaring the " right to insubordination in the Algerian wa r", and then wrote the Manifesto of 343 (1971), in favor of the legalization of abortion.