Viviane Sassen was born in 1972 in Amsterdam, and lives there. She studied fashion design, followed by photography at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) and Ateliers Arnhem.
In this photographic series, Sassen and her muse Roxane Danset continue writing the shared visual journal they began in 2012. In an introductory poem, Maria Barnas captures the spirit of the work as she writes: ‘When I take a glance at our selves I hold my breath and see us expand in colours and clouds bursting from a mouth. Are they yours or mine?’
The series presents a dynamic range of poses, moods and movements, making full use of the suggestive nature of shadow, the abstracting potential of ambiguous props and the power of painterly gestures. Sassen has often been described as a creative polymath and this aspect is clearly in evidence here. Emphasising exploration and play, Sassen enhances perceptions of shape by adding pigment onto prints and re-photographing them. She vivifies the surface using bold brushstrokes and fine lines, suggesting a new lexicon of geometries and forms.
At times sensual, at times tender, these images are equally about the performances in front of and behind the camera. Sassen’s presence is perceived through her shadow and made tangible by scraps of paper that bear the imprint of her breasts. The images are a mutual portrait - an exchange in which the artist’s and model’s individualities blur, leaving traces on each other.
As artist and muse reflect each other’s gazes, the series becomes an expression of symbiotic creativity, an exploration of the aesthetic potential of reciprocity. Sassen and Roxane articulate a disintegration of boundaries, offering the liminal as an evocation of limitlessness.