Aurélia de Souza
Estudo para o autorretrato Santo António, s.d.
Print on paper
Courtesy of José Caiado de Sousa
Aurélia de Souza has abundantly resorted to self-portraiture in her oeuvre, to the point of using her own body to incarnate other subjectivities. To portray herself as Saint Anthony (1902), she photographed herself in monk’s robes. Her emaciated face, thin wrists, and long, questioning hands are recognizable, but what do they say? Aurélia Souza the patron saint of lost causes? Which causes? Her fight against tuberculosis? The feminist and social struggles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries? The cause of artists? Her slightly open lips and raised finger suggest a discourse reserved to men and even a direct, bold questioning of the patriarchal order as she absorbs the subjectivity of the famous patron saint.