Exhibition at Imperator

Between the years of 1946 and 1947, the important French-American artist Louise Bourgeois created the Femme Maison series of paintings, that dealt with the issue of feminine identity. The carioca artist Panmela Castro perceives violence against women as a problem of feminine identity and thus – faced with the alarming Brazilian numbers – even in 2017, is still an issue for debate. Appropriating this title, she creates her first work in the series, built during the months of May, June and July at her atelier in the district of Catete, and assembled in August at the Sorocaba Sesc for the Frestas Trienal de Artes.

In this first work, Panmela requests that her mother decorate a dollhouse in the same fashion as her own childhood room in the district of Penha. With the mission completed and the work installed, the public can enter the space, trying on outfits and taking pictures of themselves. For this space of the Imperator Gallery, Panmela Castro assembles her second #FemmeMaison installation, where visitors can enter a pompous and exaggerated pink dress.
In this new series the artist deals with the feminine ridiculous, questioning the mandatory nature of certain feminine characteristics for the legitimation of a being as a woman, since she believes that the non-acceptance of other/new possibilities results in violence.

As well as the participative installation, in this exposition the public can view a set of paintings created between 2008 and 2017 that bring a little of the first traces of the trajectory of this obsession with this kitsch feminine.

Centro Cultural João Nogueira – Imperator
De 03/10/2017 à 25/02/2018

“Femme Maison”
Participatory Installation


  1. Go to the dressing table and “to assemble yourself” with a wig
    (Take care of the wigs with affection);
  2. Position yourself on the bodice of the dress and tie it on your back;
  3. Use the pink feathers around the neck to disguise your clothes and look pretty mimosa@;
  4. Make a face of sweet;
  5. Ask someone to photograph you;
  6. Post with the #FemmeMaison hashtag and mark the artist on Instagram @panmelacastro

“Fio a fio” (Wire to wire)

Re-reading the work of Anna Maria Maiolino, the photograph shows the artist, her mother and sister. Together, the three work each other with their function to bring the creations of Panmela to the real possibility of existence. There we also deal with the identity conflicts of each.

Jardim da Sororidade, mural construído para o terraço do imperator.

"Mulher Com Flôr " (Woman With Flower)
Oil on mirror
0.30 X 0.40 cm


  1. Center your eye by fitting it into the flower;
  2. Make a selfie;
  3. Post with the #FemmeMaison hashtag and mark the artist on Instagram @panmelacastro

“Eva III”
Spray and oil on canvas
0.90 X 0.60 cm

Among some Evas painted by Panmela, we can consider this as an experimental work. The distinctive shade of pink, the black hair, the cut in the chest with the apple: items that the artist would never come to repeat in her production. Perhaps because this set of elements together brought an exaggerated feminine that at the time was not a purposeful part of Panmela’s research, but that would come increasingly to repeat itself (in other ways) as one in an annunciation of the series “Femme Maison”.

“A Exibida” (Show-Off)
Spray and oil on canvas
0.120 X 0.100 cm

One of the best known figures of Panmela Castro is the woman with flower in the eye. It is not very difficult to find paintings and drawings of other artists with this same element, but it is just this pop and somewhat kitsch characteristic that interests the artist in this representation. It is a type of kitsch that sometimes appears in the flower, sometimes appears with the feminine pendants that we use to feel more feminine. More beautiful. Sexier. It is from this irony that the idea of exaggeration arises that increasingly emphasizes the work of Panmela as a non-feminine, but feminist production.

“Sem Título” (Untitled)
Spray and oil on canvas
0.90 X 0.60 cm

Still remnant of the series “Opressão” (Oppression), Panmela Castro considers this work violent. Not for portraying a woman attached to the thorns, but for her calm look of who knows that the struggle is arduous, but concise. Being a feminist in the contemporary world is this, dealing with our day-to-day misogyny and machismo, knowing that it tries to swallow us, to oppress us, but to confront it with a kind of force of the bowels.

“Auto Retrato” (Self-Portrait)
Spray and oil on canvas
0.50 X 0.60 cm

The oldest work of this exhibition is a self-portrait created from another series of Panmela: “Opressão” (Oppression). After photographing herself in this collection about pain and suffering generated from the relations of alterity and that would emerge in her famous performance “Porquê” (Why?), Panmela Castro portrays herself in a place of speech as a woman, trying to fit into a binary pattern, hyper feminine, stereotyped as a way to achieve acceptance of the other. They are kitschy elements in a feminine caricature bordering on ridicule, foreshadowing the series “Femme Maison”.

"Liberté II "
Oil on canvas
0.30 X 0.40 cm

Liberté is one of the artist’s obsessive ideas about women. In Paris 2011 she scratched a type of woman so free we would be unable to imagine. She represented this woman next to an eagle and called it Libeté, which in French means freedom. As time passed, her interest moved to studies of non-binary construction, and then she realized that she was building this free woman with feminine characteristics, but that to be free would be to abandon them.