A book with 23 black and white drawings of naked, slightly deformed persons, posing in a photo/film studio.
Exposure (artist book)
Book available on www.solomanontroppo.fr / Art, concept, design: Maud Vande Veire & Emmanuel Depoorter / Dimensions: 27 x 20 cm / Pages: 40 / Print: digital printing / Publisher: Solo Ma Non Troppo / First Edition: 150 / Year: 2013 / 978-2-919289-11-0
(image above: Exposure, cover / 2013)
When two trees are standing close to each other, so close that their branches touch, now and then something extraordinary happens (fig.1). As the branches move in the wind the bark where their surfaces touch disappears over time. If the vascular tissues of both trees touch each other long enough, eventually they mingle and the trees grow together. The most spectacular case is when two different species grow together, resulting in a sensational mix of colors and new shapes. Only once have I seen a tree like this. I think it was a Prunus with pink and white flowers. I was totally amazed. I planned to go back and take a picture of it, but when I did the tree had lost its blossoms. When humans imitate this process it is called grafting. Often the process is more calculated, uniting the strengths of both trees into a new one. The strong roots of one species are joined with the plentiful fruits of the other.
Outlines, artist book / 2013
In 2013, the publisher Solo Ma Non Troppo contacted Emmanuel Depoorter (my partner) to make a book. The book was to be part of a series of publications composed of drawings. We decided to work on it together, as we have done many times before. It was not always easy to find the right balance (fig.2). There are many different ways to collaborate. You can work together on all aspects of the book, but if you are overwhelmed by the other person, you may feel as if the work is not yours. Or, each person can work separately and both can later bring things together, but then it may look like a jumble. Or one person can make something to which the other can react; if you really like each other, it hurts less when the other destroys the part you liked most…
Outlines, original drawings / 2013
While we were making the book, we were also working on the film The Visit. It was our first time to work with professional film equipment. We were certainly influenced by the imprint of modern technology while searching for a possible focus for the book. We used our own working methods. For Emmanuel, this was drawing; for me, it was making associations, assembling, and editing. He drew dozens of human beings with extremely flexible and deformed bodies in grotesque poses (fig.3). My reaction was to add rough sketches of settings in which the figures would pose.
Outlines, sketches for compositions / 2013
Afterwards we assembled and worked out the drawings of the settings and the figures (fig.4). Sometimes we added a digital raster to the composition.
Outlines, drawings for page 3 / 2013
Outlines, drawings and digital editing for page 24-25 / 2013
The final result is a book with 23 black and white drawings. The recurring motive is that of a setting resembling a photographer’s studio or a film studio, in which figures are posing to be captured on film. The book’s atmosphere is ambiguous. On the one hand, there is a contrast between the familiar situation of a photo shoot and the unashamed posing of exposed, deformed bodies. On the other hand, the reader is shown detailed drawings of the preparation stage, while the final photos are withheld (fig.5).