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The Mutated Body: Sculptural Photographs Depict Raw Intimacy (NSFW)

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Encounter

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Orphee

French photographer Alix Marie‘s images will have you looking more than once, her exploration of the mutated body pushing the bounds of the medium and our comfort level. Beginning with nude images of herself and those closest to her, Marie takes her photographs and transforms them into large-scale installations and sculptures. The bloated proportions and crumpled flesh deflect and divert from the photograph’s origin, resulting in behemoth forms of something not altogether human. Targeting our relationship and unease with our bodies as well as implied undercurrents of femininity, the series presents a naked intimacy both stripped to the bone and deeply impassioned. We asked Marie about her process and where these figures come from.

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Adrea

Are the subjects in your work all people you are intimate with in one way or another? Why is this important to you?
“Everyone I photograph is close to me because I wanted make work about intimacy. They are the bodies I observe the most and yet are somehow forever foreign. I was trying to grasp and recreate those moments where you look at a body so closely that you examine each detail of the person. It is as if you are part of them, looking at your own skin. There is something about the repetition and the fleetingness of this examination with people you love that I find interesting. There is an impulse to take a photograph in order to remember and possess this sight forever as a memento mori. The past year I have concentrated on photographing my mother and my lover as an examination of where I come from and where I am going – the two bodies I fear most of losing.”

Do you use your own body in the series? If so, could some of these images be interpreted as self portraits?
“I do use my own body for many different reasons. It could be interpreted as very personal as the work is a glimpse at my intimacy with other people’s bodies as well as my own. Yet I think it speaks universally to exploring one’s body and its boundaries and desire. It also refers to the medium of photography itself in some aspects and seeks representation of a different kind of femininity. So the work can be read as self-portraits but to me it goes beyond the genre.”

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La Preuve

Your images feel violent, conflicted, and beautiful. How does the stress and strain you place on your sculptures relate to how you feel about our relationship with our bodies?

“Often the responses to my work are very strong, a kind of marmite: you hate it or you get it. I think the thing I’ve heard the most is ‘disgusting and creepy’. I enjoy this duality.

“The work is seductive but shows raw, sometimes abject aspects of our bodies. For me it comes from a childish and atavistic thirst for curiosity and fascination with our bodies. I try to go back to this place and forget any kind of judgement of normality or disgust that becoming an adult or being part of society gives you. I always find it similar to the satisfaction of horror films, a game with yourself to push the boundaries of your gaze. For me this is when we can begin to understand and appreciate the beauty in aspects of the body we are not supposed to look at.”

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Orlando

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Lip Wax

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Golem

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Roulette

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Orlando (detail)

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Bleu

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