In March 2020, Marie Déhé moved to London with her partner and 15-month-old daughter. Despite the intimacy of her practice, Dehé had been yearning for the connections she made through art. “I have been photographing women’s bodies, often naked, for an ongoing project since 2016,” she says. “I’ve always liked those moments. They always started with great conversations and created a very special bond, even if it lasted only for the photo shoot.”
In an attempt to transcend the distance separating her from the world, Déhé began photographing over Zoom or FaceTime. In her words: “I wanted to recreate this experience, take it further, and reflect on the idea of intimacy without being physically present; how the distance would translate (or not) into images.”
Distant Intimacy (Art Paper Editions) is the culmination of nearly 30 women’s home photographs taken between March 2020 and January 2021. Dehé’s tender images of vulnerability and strength are accompanied by quotations from the woman and poems by Lien Van Leemput, who art directed the book with Déhé, and Haydée Touitou.
In the book, Déhé writes, “imagine our bodies and our souls hidden from their sight.” “Free from their constant stare, a never-ending judgment, from their silent pressure shrouded in our thoughts and movements, from their violence in our flesh and our dreams. Developing an image of liberation that most women and femmes can often only dream of, Déhé enables us to recognize a reality we may one day inhabit in the future. The following is a reflection by Déhé on her journey to create a space for female desire, care, movement, and love.
Distant Intimacy by Marie Déhé is published by Art Paper Editions and is out now.
Cody is the Editor in Chief and senior contributor at liminul.
He is a photography aficionado, fashion enthusiast, avid Lana Del Rey fan, and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.