Marie Déhé is a French artist
Episode 334: Marie Déhé is a French artist working in photography and photobook mediums. Art Paper Editions recently published her book Distant Intimacy.
The book examines collaboration and intimacy through the screen through Zoom calls Marie facilitated with women worldwide during the pandemic moment. Though the work was done during the global pandemic, the goal was less about the reflection of the times than about making images of intimacy in a world devoid of men. However, their absence is not meted out in cruelty but relatively simple and adoring solidarity with the women Marie wishes to convene and commiserate with. In creating a world of safety at a distance, the artist explores relationships with women, known and unknown. The spirit of collaboration is insisted upon, and the artist often reduces herself and her subjects to bare form by removing her clothes and asking, when comfortable, that the collaborator remove theirs.
The idea is to strip away all retaining constraints and produce a portrait and an exchange in which both women are evident and considered. It is a beautiful work and one that destabilizes forms of hierarchy by the insistence to reduce both author and subject to the same status. Marie and I spoke about the project and her general upbringing in the arts. On an editorial note, she wants me to mention that she started shooting roughly two years earlier than she remembers quoting in the conversation making her starting date, making photographs seriously closer to 2014 than 2017, which is the date she began accepting commercial work. Please tune in!!!
Original Statement and Specifications (Some light editing has been made)
“I want to photograph you from distance. On your phone/laptop, you will turn the video call on, and I will be there with my camera. In your kitchen, on your bed, at your window—wherever you like.
I would like you to be naked or as undressed as you’re comfortable being. For the first picture, I will be dressed; for the next one, I will be naked; for the last one, you will be dressed, and I will still be naked. I will sometimes appear in the final picture, sometimes not fully or at all.
Get comfortable; it’s about getting closer from distance, and sharing an intimate moment in a safe environment.
I know I’m asking a lot, but trust me, we’re in this together.”
design and editing: Marie Déhé & Lien Van Leemput for 6m56s
texts: Marie Déhé, Haydée Touitou, Lien Van Leemput