New Photography 2011

Viviane Sassen. _Alpha_. 2010. Pigmented inkjet print, 31 1/2 x 25 9/16" (80 x 65 cm). Courtesy the artist; Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town; and Motive Gallery, Amsterdam. © 2011 Viviane Sassen

Viviane Sassen. Alpha. 2010

Pigmented inkjet print
31 1/2 x 25 9/16" (80 x 65 cm)
Courtesy the artist; Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town; and Motive Gallery, Amsterdam. © 2011 Viviane Sassen

VIVIANE SASSEN: My name is Viviane Sassen. I grew up in Africa, partly, in Kenya. In 2002 or so, I decided to travel back to Africa together with my husband. When we reached the places I grew up, I just had very vivid dreams and memories of the time that I was a kid. For me, photography is a very intuitive process. I think most of my work has to do more with my own personality and, I don't know, maybe with my own emotions and, it's not that political. It's not meant to be that political. And I like this kind of ambiguity. At least I hope you can perceive the work or read the work in different ways.

When I'm working, I usually take a sketch book. Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning and I have had very vivid dreams or I just suddenly have an idea, I start sketching. So sometimes my pictures are almost literal pictures of the sketches I did. And then, on the other moment, I just find something on the street which excites me.

Alpha is not staged. It was just by coincidence. You see two people passing, two people colliding, two people morphing, in a way. Belladonna came about very unexpected, actually. I saw this sheet hanging on the wire. It appeared to me that it would be amazing if someone would hold this girl just standing on the other side of the sheet. I want to establish a kind of a poem almost, a kind of rhythm. And having all these images together, which sometimes have a kind of surrealness about them already and then together combined with other pictures.

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