Elise Ansel: Flower of the Mountain

10 September - 22 November 2020

...the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head...I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes...[Molly Bloom, Ulysses]


These words are unequivocally optimistic; they embrace life. At the same time, they signal the presence not only of a subjective feminine voice or point of view but also of a necessary stylistic shift, the creation of a new and different type or use of language with which to communicate that point of view.

James Joyce’s Ulysses was the novel that first inspired my project of translating classical works into a contemporary language. Cropping and rearranging details from Dutch Golden Age floral still lifes manifest the transformative energy, the sparagmos, the tearing apart, weaving, unraveling, and re-weaving that is the heart of my activity. Selecting the exhibition title from the final Molly Bloom/Penelope chapter, a chapter that gives voice to the novel’s most conspicuously silent character, echoes and reenforces the idea of rendering subjectivity in the feminine in order to reclaim female agency, and give voice to the silent and the silenced. [Elise Ansel]