The Monades in Ratté’s series are majestic goddesses presiding over digitally drawn spaces, echoing Greek sculptural forms. In an interview with the magazine It’s Nice That, Ratté refers to her fascination with architecture, an ongoing theme in her work being the “‘relation between psychological projection into a physical space and its representation”’.
Ratté harks back to classical civilization to explore a long-time fetish and fixation of the art world; the feminine nude. Nudes are a subject familiar to any regular gallery goer: to the extent that, 80s feminist activist artists Guerrilla Girls were outraged that female nudes were picked over the work of living female artists for shows in the MET museum.
Ratté’s Monades nestle within and challenge this tradition. Their white digital flesh is reminiscent of the smooth, marbled forms of Roman and Greek sculpture, reclining in poses that recall nymphs sitting on riverbeds or courtesans lying on boudoir sofas. Yet they are also oddly disfigured, with phantom, blurred limbs that double up and melt out of the skin. Their shiny bodies reflect pixelated light and the once flowing, curving lines of the female nude threaten to glitch into oblivion at any moment.
In an interview with the magazine It’s Nice That, Ratté refers to her fascination with architecture, an ongoing theme in her work being the “‘relation between psychological projection into a physical space and its representation”’. The monades are scanned directly from her own body, projecting her image into the digital art realm, but the shift to the virtual environment transforms and alters them. The shaky projection suggests an unstable translation from organic to digital flesh.
In Greek philosophy the ‘Monad’ is a solidified unit, a singular source of power. Each Monade dominates its own digital territory with its gargantuan form but it also defies clear separation into feminine or masculine divisions.