Unprofessional - PhMuseum

Unprofessional

Matilde Søes Rasmussen

2011 - 2021

Hong Kong; Guangzhou, Guangdong, China; Shenzhen, Guangdong, China; Tokyo, Japan; Paris, Île-de-France, France; Denmark; Sweden

ARTIST STATEMENT

For more than 10 years I have documented my career as a professional model with a camera in my hand, exploring power relations between the model, the photographer, and the public. After years of working for others, I am now behind the camera, investigating in photography and writing how we as models see ourselves after years of monitoring our own bodies from the outside.

‘Unprofessional’ is my debut book. The book investigates what it means to have a body in capitalism, and as a model, your body is your literal capital. The book that is set mostly in China moves between documentary and fiction, performance and real life. I use my body to investigate how the structures of the modeling industry impact self-image and identity. The book is a mix of self-portraits alongside still lifes, landscapes, and portraits of friends and colleagues. We see fruits cut in half, a naked back, young models looking lost dressed in bridal gowns.

‘THE OIL OF SWEET ALMONDS

I grease my nipples with the oil of sweet almonds because pink silicone nipples stickers have turned them into dry little blackberry buds.

I hide my tampon string between my butt cheeks because I wear a thong when I’m menstruating.

I dream of warm nights with money and Riesling on top of Chinese hotels and I dream of being choked by large biceps on soft sheets.’

The book is an attempt to find meaning in a career as a model and is a silly, humorous and perhaps at times painful testimony of what we are prepared to expose our bodies to in the pursuit of money and career.

BIO

I am a Danish-Swedish artist and writer born and raised in the Jutlandic village of Alling, Denmark in 1990. My recently published book Unprofessional was released in April 2021 by Disko Bay Books and was shortlisted for the Photo-Text Book Award at this year's Les Rencontres D’Arles, along with a positive critical reception in international press like British Journal of Photography, Nearest Truth with Brad Feuerhelm, Vogue Italia, and PHmuseum’s own Colin Pantall.

I work with photography, video, and writing, often in close synthesis. I have studied at Fatamorgana The Danish School of Art Photography, and I hold a BFA in Fine Art Photography from the HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2021 I received the Swedish Arts Grants Associations one-year working grant and Västra Götaland Cultural Committees one-year working grant, and participated in the two residencies GlogauAiR in Berlin and AiR351 in Cascais, Portugal with my artistic partner Marie Flarup Kristensen. Currently, I am working on a collection of new poems and a commission for a new work for Kunsthal Århus, while looking for opportunities to show ‘Unprofessional’ as a physical exhibition.

See more on https://www.matildesoes.com/ and https://www.diskobay.org/books/unprofessional/

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