La Fugitive

[Visual arts]

La Fugitive (The Sweet Cheat Gone) is the sixth tome of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. This exhibition gives substance to the character of Albertine, channeling both iconic and previously unreleased works. First a young woman in her domestic space, she builds her journey in real and dreamed realms unknown to the Proust narrator

Albertine appears for the first time on the beach in Balbec, among a group of athletic, sassy Young Girls in Flower. Desired and envied by the narrator, she displays a resolute, yet ineffable personality. She rarely speaks, and when she does, she fails to shed light on her wants and desires, coming off as secretive and complex. Albertine’s love for women soon becomes apparent. This sensuality, first hinted at, then confirmed, has the narrator mesmerized. With that in mind, the telling refusal to see Albertine as anything else than a fictitious proxy for real-world men known to Proust at the time is particularly striking.

The artistic practices featured in La Fugitive highlight the legacy of the male gaze in our visual culture and the stories of queer characters, offering a multidimensional outlook upon the world.