Natasha Gudermane | Mademoiselles: retrato íntimo de parisinas

Desde hace mucho tiempo el desnudo tiene que ver con la fotografía; dicho de otra manera, la fotografía siempre ha desnudado el cuerpo y la mirada, como en el famoso cuadro (eminentemente fotográfico) El origen del mundo (1866) de Gustave Courbet, realizado a partir de una fotografía del cuerpo femenino. La fotografía nos ha acostumbrado desde entonces a ver de frente y sin tapujos el cuerpo humano. ¿Pero luego de tantas imágenes fotográficas que nos muestran el cuerpo humano en su desnudez es posible aun sorprendernos? Por supuesto, y eso sucede precisamente con la obra fotográfica de Natasha Gudermane, fotógrafa rusa que vive y trabaja en París desde hace ya algunos años.

Esta serie tiene una particularidad: es la de mostrar sin tapujos la relación que se establece entre el cuerpo femenino y su lugar de habitación, que generalmente es un lugar bastante reducido como sucede con la mayoría de espacios de vivienda en París. Los cuerpos se amoldan de una manera especial a esos lugares reducidos como si fuesen cajas donde los cuerpos terminan adaptándose. En la antigüedad Vitrubio insistía en que “el cuerpo es la medida de todas las cosas”; ahora en esta altermodernidad (Bourriaud) esa sentencia parece haberse invertido para insistir en que las cosas determinan la medida de todos los cuerpos. Esta inversión radical, donde el espacio termina modelando los cuerpos, parece revelarse en las fotografías de Gudermane.

Los retratos que realiza la fotógrafa, logran mostrarnos algunas relaciones imposibles donde el cuerpo parece tomar la forma de las cosas, donde el cuerpo se amalgama con los espacios pero guardando su singularidad. Así sucede con el retrato de Juliette, donde ella parece emerger o sumergirse en un canasto; ese elemento doméstico propio de una cierta feminidad, se convierte en el receptáculo del cuerpo desnudo. El color naranja del canasto contrasta equilibradamente con el fondo azul de un sobre-sábana y el blanco de la piel de Juliette. Esta foto que para nada es simulada, pues Gudermane siempre deja que las “modelos” jueguen con su espacio y sus cosas. Cada fotografía de esta serie nos permite introducirnos en el mundo de lo íntimo, donde lo femenino es visto desde otro ángulo, donde lo domestico deviene no una tara y una camisa de fuerza sino la posibilidad de explorar sensualmente el espacio y la relación del cuerpo con las cosas. Natasha Gudermane, seguirá sorprendiéndonos sin duda con sus imágenes.

ENG: Natasha Gudermane (born in Latvia) is a contemporary photographer currently based in Paris, France. Her recent series “Mademoiselles” is an intimate exploration of Paris. Entering the home of strangers and asking them to take their clothes off in front of the camera is not an easy task. How did Natasha Gudermane achieve that? “I know some magic words that open many doors.”

Natasha, your recent project is called “Mademoiselles”. What is it about and why did you decide to take on that particular subject? I started this project not with the presumed idea but with a bunch of questions. Being a foreigner in Paris I was feeling slightly derooted. I tried to get closer to the things around me by studying and understanding them. And that is by photographing them. I did not really know what to expect, it was an exploration. I would not like to state my conclusions, I would like viewers to make their own impressions.

A photographer has many “tools” at hand to bring across his message: lenses, lighting, framing, color treatment etc. Can you elaborate a little bit on the techniques you used for this particular project in order to link form and content? “I wanted it to be as still, as silent as possible.” I only used available light for this project, and no photoshop. I wanted the photos to be exactly the same as I saw them in reality. The choice of “a slow” mechanical camera was important here, too. I wanted it to be as still, as silent as possible, and this kind of camera suits best for it.

This project was shot on film. What do you like about analogue photography? And what is it that it can teach us about digital photography? We do not treat expensive and rare things the same way we treat things that are numerous and costless. I noticed that shooting with a film camera changes my whole attitude. It demands much more concentration in the moment. Every shot becomes important, precious. Because the film is limited. Because you cannot control the result immediately by checking it on the screen. For me shooting on film always gives more powerful results than shooting with digital camera.

How do you realize a project like “Mademoiselles”? From the idea, the research, finding the characters, getting to know them, interactions, earning their trust etc.? All this is quite intuitive. I cannot always explain my choice of models. Maybe, I sense something in them I can identify myself with. I don’t know. I usually prefer not to see the flat of my model before the day of shooting, and instead to be inspired by the moment, by the person and by the place – to improvise.

How do you connect with your subjects? Especially keeping in mind that your images are quite intimate and you didn’t know all your subjects beforehand. I know some magic words that open many doors.

What does a single photograph need in your opinion in order to stand out and get noticed? Especially keeping in mind the abundance of visual imagery in today’s society? Good question. But the answer is very subjective, since what stands out for you or for me may not be that outstanding for somebody else.

That’s like the general question about beauty: why one object or person attracts us while the other does not? Besides the harmony of all the elements, here again there is a big part of irrational.

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