The Chemistry of Symmetry: Photographer Laetitia Soulier
By Jessica Caplan, Journalist
Art lovers streamed into the Aperture Foundation last Thursday to check out the solo show of Exposure award winner Laetitia Soulier. Many showed up with clothes and umbrellas dripping from a dramatic summer storm, eyes and ears still buzzing from nature’s thunder and lightning show. It was an apt prelude to a viewing of Soulier’s photographs, which, like the calm before a storm, channel a quiet and visually captivating ferocity.
The Matryoshka series (a sub-section of the Fractal Architectures series) consists of three shots of a dreamy interior that is actually a miniature model, in 1/24 scale to life-size. The models are highly detailed, akin to modern CGI renderings; Soulier hand-built them herself over many months. Each wall is papered with repetitive fractal patterns adapted from the shape of Russian Matryoshka dolls, which confuses the scale of the images, turning the familiar into the foreign. Still, the overall effect is alluring; the photographs beckon viewers into their cozy havens, to enjoy a warm cup of tea, or run their hands along the smooth walls.
For those who found it hard to grasp how the Matryoshka series came together, a time-lapse video played on loop, showing Soulier making the piece from scratch. Gypsy violinist Hannah Thiem provided a stirring live soundtrack to Soulier’s photographs, which challenged viewers’ perceptions of reality and drew them into this thoughtful artist’s haunting worlds.
Laetitia Soulier: Solo Show at the Aperture Foundation
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