A feminist marvellous: Chloe Aridjis and the ‘female human animal’

McAra, Catriona (2020) A feminist marvellous: Chloe Aridjis and the ‘female human animal’. In: Leonora Carrington: Living Legacies. Vernon Press. ISBN 9781622737451

Abstract

The recent revival of interest in Leonora Carrington has prompted a number of new approaches to the legacies of her multifaceted oeuvre. A magpie for such debris herself, “Carrington” comes down to us imbued with meaning. Some of the most interesting quotations of Carrington in recent years can be found in the work of the Mexican, London-based novelist Chloe Aridjis (b.1971). Aridjis was a family friend of Carrington in Mexico City, and is known for having co-curated the landmark exhibition of Carrington’s work, Transgressing Discipline (2015), with Tate Liverpool, and for using this curatorial platform within ‘Female Human Animal’ (2018) directed by Josh Appignanesi. Her novels, ‘Book of Clouds’ (2009) and ‘Sea Monsters’ (2019), contain uncanny references to Carrington which might be said to constitute a more nuanced assessment of Carrington’s cult status. This chapter uses the ekphrastic thinking of Chloe Aridjis in order to re-explore Carrington’s feminist marvellous. It draws on unpublished interview material with Aridjis (July 2014). The chapter developed out of an invited keynote lecture for Edge Hill University (30 June 2017).

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