Confessions by Céline Bodin
The work of French photographer Céline Bodin is inspired by the spiritual and the religious with an emphasis on gender and femininity. After studying at Gobelins, l‘École de l‘Image in Paris and London College of Communication, Bodin chose to specialise in portraiture so she could “capture the faces that keep [her] captivated.” Her photography explores the idea of expectation, particularly that placed on the female body and how she, as a photographer, responds or conforms to those expectations.
“The idea was simple, but a little brutal at the same time: in a blinding all-white environment the models were asked to take their clothes off, much like you would when at the doctors, ready to be examined. “
The Confessional is as much about revealing as it is about covering or hiding. Influenced by the writing of French intellectual Simone de Beauvoir and art critic John Berger, Bodin explains that “the idea was simple, but a little brutal at the same time: in a blinding all-white environment the models were asked to take their clothes off, much like you would when at the doctors, ready to be examined. Then, as they faced the camera but I waited on the side, they were told they could pick up some of the clothes they had taken off and use them to only hide the body parts they felt they should.”
The Line explores objectification but also looks at its inherited nature. In the photographs, each woman wears her mother’s wedding dress, an object that is both personal and alien, binding together two relationships: that of the mother and child and that of the bride and betrothed. In this series, Bodin explores the mother-daughter relationship and explains, “The resulting portrait could be one of both mother and daughter.
Find the whole article and further images inside our issue ‘Sirens’.