(Continue to be, Resist everywhere and forever)
In making this series, I wanted to pay tribute to all the women, everywhere and at all times, who despite violent, dangerous and dramatic contexts manage to carry life, liberate it, pamper it and give it to the world. I admire these women who have been, are and will be. The question of motherhood arose in me long before I was a mother, and I have always been subjugated by maternal strength, the animality of childbirth. Pregnant myself, I was thinking of all these women who are much less fortunate than me, and I wanted to tell you about them. Tell about their courage and strength. How to hide to protect?
I photographed myself because I didn’t want to ask a pregnant woman to walk around naked on rubble and broken glass, so I decided to pose and so I made these self-portraits. This approach led me to also want to express with simplicity the psychic transformations and upheavals due to pregnancy, and perhaps even more to the liberation of life, birth. Each mother then follows a chaotic path for nine months, punctuated by a climax with the birth of the baby, of incredible strength. Pregnancy obviously helps us to get closer to our animal state, distant but not forgotten, and I wanted this series “Durare Ubique in Perpetuum” to also highlight this obviousness. Pregnancy is a state of grace during which we are connected to our ancestral roots, our instinct, we are connected to others like never before. Despite the setting, it is the body and life that become essential, the rest almost fade away.
This white and round body also symbolizes a future that I wish us clear and soft, which will be built on our somewhat dilapidated and damaged present.
The contrast in the photographs between the milky body and the ruins creates a very easy reading, which corresponds to my general approach, to tell a lot with the simplest images.
I think this series of self-portraits speaks a lot for itself, and I also like to let the visitor appreciate and appropriate it to make their own story, it is by leaving this freedom that the work becomes rich. During exhibitions, I don’t necessarily detail my approach or the modus operandi in order to let everyone have their own experience.”
All images and text © Marie Bienaimé
By Marie Bienaimé
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