Viviane Sassen: Hot Mirror
The Hepburn Wakefield & Prestel, 2018
This mid-career retrospective volume focuses on Viviane Sassen’s fine art photography, revealing a surrealist undercurrent in her work. Sassen recognizes Surrealism as one of her earliest artistic influences, seen in the uncanny shadows, fragmented bodies, and otherworldly landscapes she captures in her work. In addition to images from the acclaimed series Umbra, this volume draws from the series Flamboya, in which she returned to Kenya, Parasomnia, a dreamlike exploration of sleep, the Roxane series, a mutual portrait created with her muse, Roxane Danset, Of Lotus and Mud, a study of procreation and fecundity, and Pikin Slee, a journey to a remote village in Suriname. This book features a contextualizing essay and an insightful interview with the artist. Throughout, Sassen emerges as a poetic photographer obsessed with light and shadow and a brilliant technician, who is a master of both vibrant color and muted hues. Selected by Sassen herself from across the last ten years, the images draw on the surrealist strategies of collage and unexpected juxtapositions to give a survey of her practice.