The retrospective shows images built up like a painting or a collage and which arise in free association and creativity. These are not generally prominent aspects in the cautious climate of today’s largely commercially-driven fashion photography, but they are typical of Viviane Sassen’s fashion photography. Over the last 17 years Sassen has developed a personal language that is sometimes surreal—with intertwined bodies, sculptural compositions and abstract forms—and on occasion perhaps bewildering, but it is always fascinating and full of energy. Sassen’s fashion photography is marked by both innovative strength and a surrealistic beauty. In contrast to her renowned autonomous work, Sassen’s fashion photography is commissioned work that is created in close collaboration with a team of stylists, art directors, models and make-up artists. This means Sassen can treat fashion photography as the ultimate playground, somewhere she can work quickly and intuitively while enjoying the additional benefits of having a professional team on hand to facilitate her experiments. She calls this her ‘Laboratory’.
Viviane Sassen’s spontaneous, non-commercial, and characteristically individual approach has ensured that her fashion photography goes far beyond the usual confines of this medium. The fashion domain affords her the space to carry out experiments that generate a reservoir of material with which to develop the language of her autonomous work.
Exhibition produced by Huis Marseille, Amsterdam. Co-curated by Viviane Sassen and Nanda van den Berg, curator at Huis Marseille, Amsterdam. With the support of Oh ! Pays-Bas.
Venue: Les rencontres d’Arles, Couvent Saint-Césaire, Arles 13104
Open: 1st July - 22nd September 2013
View the full programme for Les Rencontres d’Arles: http://www.rencontres-arles.com