Last year, we went to see a concert of a friend’s band in a beautiful place: Salon de IJzerstaven. In fact, this is the atelier of Dutch sculptor Egon Schrama, located in the charming Prinseneiland neighbourhood of Amsterdam. The artist shares the atelier – a majestic, 6 metre-high environment that still pulsates of metal and the heavy machinery used to forge it – with fellow artists and musicians, so there are often house concerts and other interesting events.
During that one concert, a 4-men jazz ensemble, I spotted an interesting sculpture hanging around at the edge of the stage. It was a cat – a lady cat, to be precise (there were pretty clear attributes). And not just any lady cat: she was a singer.
It’s a beautiful wooden sculpture, but in that context it made me sad. I was perhaps the only one to notice that lady-cat singer was the only female musician on the stage (sexism is everywhere, not only in science and academia, but also in the arts, and I’ve seen very few women musicians in the jazz scene). Moreover, the singer was in a cage.
The caged lady-cat singer on a stage of solely male musicians was a (totally unintended!) beautiful metaphor of the condition of the woman in the contemporary world. A very sad metaphor. Continue reading