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Cecile Emmanuelle Borra Kaleidoscopes at Sketch interview by Maxim northover


Could you tell us about the experience of producing a piece for a 360-degree exhibit?

It has been a great opportunity as it has allowed me to experiment with scale and effects and to “custom project” the film to the space. I’ve shown the work in the past as a single large projection, in a very intimate and enclosed setting and it worked well, but since Sketch is also a dining venue, I think it made sense to have lots going on at once and on a grand scale as the attention span of the viewer and its gaze would be very different and most likely, not overtly contemplative.

The clientele at Sketch is somewhat different from those at your previous exhibitions, what have you found to be their reaction to the work?

The reaction has been very encouraging and positive and generally, the work hasn’t proved as shocking as people expect it to be; initially, the viewer often struggles to recognize what he/she is looking at, ‘is this male? is this female? which part of the body is this?’ I am perfectly happy with this confusion as it hopefully represents a certain defiance to strict and restrictive (gender) parameters.


Sketch offers a platform for Video and simultaneous dining, do you think this kind of hybrid space compliments or compromises the work you make?

With art, context is paramount, so it’s important for the artist to adapt the work to best convey its meaning. If there’s going to be a demanding compromise, it’s probably best to show in another context. In this specific case, I thought the experience of food consumption, lush and excessive decorative surrounding complimented well this work.

Could you explain a little the themes you address in this particular piece of work?

I wanted to transfer the gaze (female) onto the male and subsequently suggest or invite female desire in a way that would escape the stereotypical notion of representation of the male body, which often reinforce masculine-feminine binaries and categories.

You are working towards an exhibition in Barcelona, what can we expect to see in the show?

A panoply, an array of fashion, beauty and home-ware accessories, magazine cut-outs and trophy paraphernalia combined with images of male genitalia and phallic mock-ups.



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