‘What I find fascinating about the bed is precisely the extreme richness of its connotations, of its clichés even, the rapidity with which this object can pass from one action to another and that its image can slip from one interpretation to another,’ says photographer Vincent Ferrané, who considers the multi-layered purpose of the bed in an upcoming photography book Embedded.
The book – set to be published by Art Paper Editions, after a recent show of the photographic series in Paris – follows Ferrané’s dive into domestic intimacy, Inner, published in 2022, which explored fragments of a life lived during lockdown.
Vincent Ferrané, ‘Embedded’
Embedded was inspired when curator and artist Thomas Lélu got in touch with the photographer to propose joining an art residence organised by Les Hotels Amour in Paris – which came with the use of a hotel room – and Ferrané was excited by the opportunities it presented.
‘I then asked Pauline Lavogez, who is both a performer and choreographer, to accompany me on this series,’ he adds. ‘Pauline has a fascinating work on bodies in her productions and in her own performances, in many dimensions, from desires to violence, which makes me think that she would be able to embody the multitude of characters and actions that could give rise to a space that is both very arid and very connoted by the bed.’
The playful meets the sensual in the resulting series of images, which take the quotidian as their starting point, with Ferrané working to categorise these mundane activities before rethinking the purpose of the bed entirely.
‘[I made a] precise list of them in an attempt to exhaust the collective unconscious and then to work to free ourselves from them, to propose new combinations. Actions such as: going to bed, sleeping, not waking up, lying down from the day before, removing hair, massaging yourself, crying, seeking sleep, watching your neighbours across the street, looking at the stars, calling on the phone, masturbating, stretching, getting depressed, taking selfies, smoking, singing, undressing, getting dressed, fleeing the outside world, and so on, as these actions take shape and the movements slowly move away from their initial position.’
Ferrané worked closely with Lavogez to bring a performative element to the clean rectangle of the bed, intertwining photographic and choreographed strands throughout the visual narrative. ‘The bed is treated as a microcosm. Derived from the ordinary situations specific to this intimate and universalising play area haunted by our fantasies, our fears or our passions, the images created offer enigmatic representations behind closed doors: ethereal presences, bodies, suspended faces taking hold of this original setting.’
Embedded will be published by Art Paper Editions, vincentferranephotography.com
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Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.
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