A seminar by Hélène Cixous about displacement, exile, and the relation of art and literature to cities and their destruction


Vera's Room

An exhibition by Maria Chevska exploring displacement, exile, and the figure of the stranger in contemporary life

Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Philosophy / Theory

Organizing Institutions



Aaron Levy, Jean-Michel Rabaté


British Council USA, "Mission du livre" program of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Opens to public





4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104


75% Formal - 25% Informal

Slought is pleased to announce "Vera's Room," an exhibition in the gallery by British visual artist Maria Chevska opening October 8th, 2005. The exhibition has been undertaken in collaboration with Hélène Cixous, who who will give a public talk entitled "Promised Cities" on the evening of the opening at 5:00pm. This program has been organized by Jean-Michel Rabaté and Aaron Levy and will also serve as the book release for "Vera's Room [the art of maria chevska]," forthcoming from Black Dog Publishing, London in October 2005.

Maria Chevska's work, drawing on both painting and sculpture, examines a number of interrelated issues, including the implications of language upon the visual world and the narrative dimension of the visual. In the installation on view at Slought, her interest in collectivity and narrative informs an exploration of displacement and exile and comments on the figure of the stranger in contemporary life. The installation is of varying sizes and components and has been installed according to a series of prescriptive procedures determined by the artist and enacted by the curators. It has both 'real' objects and a number of 'imaginary' sculptures made up of both found and made objects. The objects, simple forms made from cloth or paper rendered solid in kaolin, look familiar and functional; however, they are not quite the same as the articles they resemble. This uncanny and abstract quality is given further tension in the installation due to the intimate setting and a sense of transient domesticity. This in turn suggests the fragile and nomadic existence of a stranger who achieves visibility on account of his or her sheer resourcefulness.

This project builds upon the shared concern for displacement and exile in the work of Hélène Cixous and British artist Maria Chevska. Please note that visual documentation of "Vera's Room," Maria Chevska's installation in the galleries, will be interspersed throughout the text of Hélène Cixous' seminar in the forthcoming publication from Slought.

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Maria Chevska was born in London, and lives and works in London. She was recently the Head of Painting at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at the University of Oxford, where she continues to teach. She recently exhibited "Reading Room," an installation with Simon Morley, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in London (May 2005). She has also exhibited in The Wetterling Gallery (Stockholm), Maison de la Culture d'Amiens (Amiens), Marianne Hollenbach Gallery (Stuttgart), Kunstpunkt Berlin (Berlin), L'Artothèque de Caen (France), Maison des Arts de Bagneux (France), Stadtische Galerie im Albstadt (Germany), and Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren (Germany). She is represented by Andrew Mummery Gallery ( London) and Philippe Casini Gallery (Paris).