// 30.09.2022 - 15.01.2023 / Sala CUB2

REVERS.A / REVERS.Ø / REVERS.E (2016-2022)

ALISSIA (María Penalva-Leal)


Curator: Antoni Miró

“Everything has a reverse side”
“Reverse: the opposite side of the front
or useful side;
the side which normally remains unseen”
“To vomit”


At the exhibition REVERS.A / REVERS.Ø / REVERS.E. (2016-2022), Alissia takes a critical, gendered look at Homer’s Odyssey. The artist examines the female monsters or evil archetypes present in the Odyssey from a feminist and postcolonial perspective, i.e. putting the character in context and analysing the reverse side of the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, Circe, Calypso and others across multiple disciplines (art, gender studies and literature).

Over the years, Alissia has investigated the hidden side of these evil female archetypes, trying to shed light on what we normally cannot see or do not know about them. The original meaning of many of these characters has been lost, and we perceive them through the heteropatriarchal eyes and moral biases of later authors.

The starting point for the exhibition is a direct translation of Homer’s Odyssey. This leads to a theoretical-practical research project that, from a critical and gendered perspective, explores the many female creatures Ulysses encounters on his way to Ithaca.

In Western tradition, these sorceresses, witches and goddesses are seen negatively, as their sole purpose is to enslave men through sex or death. This exhibition offers a refreshing look at these creatures, showing that sometimes their true nature is hidden.

The artist “vomits” all that knowledge through her works – a combination of drawing, femmage, sculpture, surrealist collage, literature or artistic installation – and takes us on a contemporary, feminist and queer journey (actually, the one chronicled by Homer) to discover these female monsters.

Ultimately, Alissia’s work encourages us to question our heteropatriarchal, sexist legacy through literary, poetic and artistic narrative. If we look at the reverse side of these female characters (sirens, witches, the Fates, the Gorgons, etc.), we will find out that they actually represent the reverse of what we had been told.

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