Through photographs and videos, I create visual narratives on female subjects in a state of longing for the other. The portraits take place in symbolic shelters; both interior and exterior, in spaces where time seems suspended, and where subjects face comforting isolation.
I try to capture my subject's presence accurately and to give them sincere attention. To photograph someone is a process which requires in-depth research into each person’s unique qualities. The choice of the represented person depends on the psychic proximity that exists between them and me, despite the distance induced by the use of lens. The device and the setting in space distinguishes me from the person being portrayed. This creative process can be compared to delicacy and sensitivity to the light of analogue technology.
The choice of the places I evoke is inspired by the functioning of memory, which is associative. Photographing the outdoors is to me a well-founded act on the body’s ability to express the unspeakable, which is to be drawn from oblivion. What I try to transcribe through images are my own memories, modified by amnesia, nevertheless referring to the concrete of the past experience. The meaning of what is seen is to be constructed by the spectator.
Marta Skoczeń, 2020
How to materialize in images the phenomena of expectation, isolation, presence, and its corollary absence? Through the joint practices of video and photography, Marta Skoczeń tries to answer these questions by poetically drawing the stories of women enclosed between four walls.
I wanted to show this need for movement which pushes us out of the reassuring dimension represented by our interiors throughout contact with nature. It makes me think of the paintings of 19th-century female artists where female subjects are represented in enclosed spaces, in all types of activities, such as sewing. These spaces were naturally assigned to women during this period. It is this image of the woman locked inside which I wish to symbolically liberate.
Psychological portraits in which gazes are alternately pressing, elusive, disillusioned, weary and with great intensity: for this, the artist favors the analog, a medium that she has loved since her adolescence for its softness and its sensitivity to light. There is this natural and evanescent finish that I try to convey in my photographs. When I work digitally, I deliberately break outlines that are far too sharp and perfect by nature. What I like is the delicacy in the treatment of colors specific to analog, she confides.
Through her videos, Marta Skoczeń has been exploring the theme of isolation, reinforced by the consequences of the pandemic. An intuitive work that mixes past-present, preparatory drawings, unconscious messages that dictate images to her in continuous research, but also texts that she writes and integrates into the editing. Inspired by the photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron or Francesca Woodman, Marta reconstructs memories modified by the passage of time by giving a voice to all women.
Pauline Weber, Catalogue des diplômés, Beaux-Arts de Paris, 2021
Abri, Master’s Degree, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Clément Cogitore studio, 2020
exhibition views © Jean-Baptiste Monteil