THE AESTHETIC OF DUTCH PHOTOGRAPHER VIVIANE SASSEN INVITES THE FORMULATION OF MULTIPLE INTERPRETATIONS AND HER ART OPERATES WAY BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL CONFINES. YESTERDAY WE MET HER BEFORE THE OPENING OF HER NEW EXHIBITION TITLED SHE HOSTED AT CARLA SOZZANI GALLERY IN MILAN. HERE’S THE INTERVIEW.
Your new exhibition is titled ‘SHE’: who’s the woman behind? I saw many of them in the images.
It is a selection of four series, two recent and two old. The two new ones are from “Roxanne II” and “Of Mud and Lotus”. This last one, in particular, i just showed it once in a gallery in Johannesburg and is going to travel to Tokyo afterwards. The Sozzani Gallery asked me to work on something and i thought it should related to fashion as we are on Milan Fashion Week but i didn’t want to show my fashion photographs and some of my art is not related to fashion at all so i thought that this mix of series could work really well around the idea of womanhood. So it’s compiled of different elements of differents times.
In terms of womanhood you have collaborate with many women and in recent times with a French stylist called Roxanne. Is there a next woman in your future to collaborate with?
Yes, it’s a young performance artist that i met in the U.S., in Los Angeles, and we are working in making a project together and i think is going to be out next year.
You live and work in Amsterdam. Is that a city that inspire your work or?
Well, with Amsterdam is quite the contrary in the sense that i always stay and go back to Amsterdam after a travel to reload myself. It’s home, it’s comfortable, i have my family and friends and can truly relax while i’m there. I also have a studio in Amsterdam but i hardly ever shoot there. So this is more a place of contemplation for me. It’s very near my heart but i don’t gain inspiration from the city itself. Inspiration comes from my other travels. Travelling is instead my source of inspiration. I do travel a lot and i love to experience new things and look to things in general with new eyes. To explore, both physically and mentally.
Colours have always been part of your world. Do you have lately a favourite one that you are focusing on?
I don’t have exactly a favourite one but i think right now is bright red, bright blue and bright green (she laughs).
There a beautiful image of a pelican in this exhibition, what’s the story in it?
I saw this pelican is South Africa and i saw the beautiful shape of this animals, the feathers that somehow reminded me of womanhood, a sort of perfect sculpture itself, somehow connected in my head with the female universe and architecture. And also the care taking: there are many elements mixing together for me.
One last question: what’s beauty for you?
Oh dear, that’s very hard to say… for me beauty is about paradoxes and ambiguity. And it is finding beauty in things that might seems useless or imperfect. It’s always a kind of contradiction for me that makes something beautiful. It’s also in finding order in the chaos and chaos in the order. It’s about opposites.
SHE opens today until November 12nd 2017 at Galleria Carla Sozzani – Fondazione Sozzani Corso Como 10 Milano www.galleriacarlasozzani.org
Photos courtesy of the artist