Matilde Søes Rasmussen is a Danish artist and model
Episode 208: Matilde Søes Rasmussen is a Danish artist and model.
Matilde’s new book Unprofessional charts the artist’s foray into the world of modeling in China. The work is extremely interesting. The artist uses herself and her friends as subject matter to speak about the complexities of the environment they share. There is a feel of instant photography in the work, something playful and considered, but that also relies on small 35mm Contax or Olympus cameras deployed to elaborate the flash and fast movements of the subjects within.
I am reminded of Japanese photography’s concerns between flowers, fruits, and food and the way in which these perishables are often played off the living human body. There is a symbolic order suggesting something movable in the feast of Matilde’s imagery. Nothing feels static or wanting, it feels like it is part of a larger continuum of life with its blemishes and inconveniences-the bruises of the inedible apple, the hair caught in the tine of the fork.
I am reminded of Wolgang Tilmans in places, Talia Chetrit, and perhaps even Richard Billingham. Matilde’s eye is her own, but I think the brilliant use of flowers, food, and the images of herself make for compelling work. The photographs are encouraged with text written by Matilde that describes her journey. The text oscillates from observations about the work involved in modeling to interesting anecdotal information about Matilde and her relationships to both China and some of the people there.
As I have written previously in short-form, I have not felt energy like this in a book since the late 90s with a number of excellent titles published by Scalo. Disko Bay, Matilde’s publisher has done an excellent job bringing her work to book form. The synthesis of text and image are perfect and as a first book, it is exemplary in its design and sequence. I am a huge fan of Disko Bay itself which has produced a number of great books over the past year and is a great place to begin unlocking the Danish scene which has loads of great artists working within.
I caught up with Matilde to speak about the work and her experience in China. There are interesting and at times dark passages surrounding the making of the work as one might suspect in an industry full of heavy demands. In the conversation, we speak about the work, but also her influences and thoughts behind making the book. I thoroughly suggest that you nab a copy of this book as I believe it is a classic in the making and I very much look forward to her next body of work.