Diane Severin Nguyen’s photographs invites us to immerse ourselves in the question of the meanings and significance of the material world. In ephemeral compositions, the artist combines synthetic objects (chains, textiles…) with organic substances (hair, fruit…), at times adding liquids or combustible materials with loaded political associations such as napalm. The tension created between these substances gives rise to exchanges – of fluids, materials, movements – of which her photographic works remain the sole visual evidence.
Her vibrantly coloured images can de-stabilise perception. This occurs both by playing with a sense of scale and by the materials that she uses taking on the appearance of torn flesh or distintegrating matter. There is therefore something profoundly physical, even visceral, about Diane Severin Nguyen’s photographs. Her works trigger responses that can range from discomfort to pain, from pleasure to desire. By playing on this evocative power of objects, Nguyen tells stories about the invisible or imperceptible fragilities of the flesh, and ways in which our bodies contaminate themselves.
This exhibition was organized with the kind assistance of Huis Marseille, Amsterdam.