Daniela Comani

1965 | Bologna, Italy

Italian artist and photographer.

Daniela Comani’s work offers a playful exploration of various aspects of identity. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Bologna, followed by the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. She gained recognition in the mid-1990s with her Double Drawings, in which silhouettes drawn from magazines are layered in unexpected configurations. In her series of photographs A Happy Marriage (2003), she plays both male and female roles to criticise gender stereotypes. She continued to play on the ambiguity of androgyny in a series of fake articles and magazine covers (Cover Versions, 2009). The way in which she highlights the division of labour within the couple is reminiscent of Michel Journiac’s 24 heures de la vie d’une femme ordinaire [24 Hours in the Life of an Ordinary Woman, 1974]; however, the manner of doubling identities, made even more apparent by her digital treatment, evokes a troubling counter-utopian society based around human cloning. In her series New Publications (2008), D. Comani hijacked the titles and sometimes illustrations on the covers of great classics of European literature. In her editions, genders are reversed: Madame Bovary becomes Monsieur Bovary, for example.

Continuing with the subject of identity, the artist explored the relationship between the individual and history in C’était moi, journal 1900-1999 [It Was Me, Diary 1900-1999], a piece she set up on the façade of the Centre d’art La Passerelle in Brest in 2009, and which lists 20th-century events in the form of news flashes sorted by date of occurrence from January 1st to December 31st and presented in the first person. This warped chronology depicts history as a constant repetition of accidents, murders, military operations, but also of cultural events, in which both the artist and audience are protagonists, at once observers and actors, culprits and victims. D. Comani’s work is shown regularly, especially in Germany, France, and Italy.

Marie Frétigny

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
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