Collection Online

from the I am the rehearsal master series (1990)

gelatin silver photograph
90.8 × 105.0 cm (image)
Accession Number
Australian Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1991
© Courtesy of the artist
Gallery location
Gallery 19
Level 3, NGV Australia
In the series I am the rehearsal master, Anne Ferran re-creates the photographic catalogue produced by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, who performed extensive research into hysteria – a term no longer used by medical professionals. Charcot used hypnosis to treat patients in Paris’s Pitié-Salpétriére hospital and produced photographs of women writhing, in the throes of hysteria. Ferran suggests in the title of this series that, rather than an accurate portrayal, the actions of the women in Charcot’s photographs were rehearsed and directed by him to prove his theories which perpetrated stereotypes about women having less psychological resilience than men.