Alix Marie is a French artist based in London working across the mediums of photography and sculpture. She graduated in 2011 from Central Saint Martins College with a First Class Honours Bachelor of Fine Art and in 2014 from MA Photography at the Royal College Of Art in London. She received a distinction for her dissertation work upon photography and fetish. Alix has exhibited internationally since 2009 and taken part in residencies in Slovenia (2012), Iceland (2012), Scotland (2013 &2014), and Morocco (2014). In 2014 she was awarded the Peaches and Cream IV graduate photography prize organised by Millennium Images and will be doing a year mentorship programme with Metro Imaging.
My practice considers the photograph as object and explores its potential for materiality, touch, and three-dimensionality; thus crossing and mixing the mediums of photography and sculpture. This is carried out through working with notions as the bodily and femininity. My experience of my own body and my perception of others’ is at the core of my practice.
I am investigating the similarities between skin and the photograph: both surfaces, both fragile, both filled with secrets and taboos. As a photographer and a person I feel teased by the impossibility of seeing what is beneath the image and what is beneath people’s skin, I would like to scratch the surface and dig. That is why I am trying to merge both together, sometimes on the verge of the abject, looking at what it does to play with the boundaries of the representation of the body.
It is about exploring the limits of my relationship to photography and image-making as much as the limits of my relationship to bodies. The impossibility of grasping a body is inherent to the medium of photography as much as to desire and love, yet in doing both at once, the insatiable is soothed.
There is vampirism in this quest, and often images and prints are reused, as the monster of photography feeding off itself. The violence in the photographic take, the impulse of possession develops into frustration with the print, which needs to be digested again, reshaped, crinkled up, re-photographed, re-worked in a Sisyphus-like never ending task.
During my time at the V&A, I will be looking at Rodin’s sculptures, which he donated to the Museum as a token of friendship between France and the UK in 1914. Rodin played a key role in the birth of modern sculpture. I feel it is an exciting opportunity to be revisiting his work through photography today as the medium is increasingly crossing the boundaries of sculpture and installation. Rodin was one of the first sculptors to understand and use photography extensively. There is something photographic in Rodin’s way of working his sculptures; their reproducibility, editions, different sizes and materials.
There are many aspects of Rodin’s work that feed back into my practice as the influence of Ovid’s Metamorphosis Greek myths, or the fact that most his sculptures were used and reused infinitely into larger works as I use my own images. The question I am setting out to explore is: if we treat the photograph as sculpture in borrowing the latter methods of display and conservation in a museum context, does photography become sculpture?
Please help me collect pictures of details and textures that you find on sculptures around the V&A. Upload them to twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #vamzoom.