— We warn that some scenes of nudity may offend the youngest audience (under the age of 18) —

Vanda Spengler

France / Switzerland

 

IMG_20210116_135235-Modifier-2.jpg

The Artist

 

Vanda Spengler was born in Switzerland in 1982 into a whimsical family with a love of words. Her grandmother is the feminist novelist Régine Deforges.
«She passed on to me a certain taste for transgression and freedom of expression. Nudity has always been simple, the relationship with the body without taboos. I knew very early on that images would be my favourite medium.»
A film buff, it was through this prism that she discovered photography. Advancing alone in this new discipline, the Narcissus à vif, she explores the self-portrait, naked. The need to capture other bodies in their most raw and unbalanced state imposed itself on her. Her struggle now consists in bringing to light the diversity of these bodies.

From an introspective work around intimacy, loneliness and self quest/self exploration, Vanda Spengler’s photography has evolved these past few years towards the study of the body and the relationship to the self and to others. In an often disturbing world of fantasy, Vanda Spengler stages/demonstrates power relations, instincts/pulses, fears which are, according to her, characterized by an increasing dehumanization.

Particularly inspired by Antoine d’Agata’s photograph and Jean Rustin’s paintings, her latest work has focused on tangled up bodies, where the piled up masses of flesh are so many unconnected, unadorned shapes.

 

 
 
la-bestiole-1.jpg

"La Bestiole" (The bug) Series- Vanda Spengler

©Vanda Spengler all rights reserved

 

"La Bestiole" (The Bug) Series - Vanda Spengler

©Vanda Spengler all rights reserved

 

intimité-05.jpg
  • In progress: publication of a book of collaborations with Jacques Cauda, Elizabeth Prouvost and Jean-Paul Gavard Perret.

  • October 2020: Graind'Pixel Festival in Besançon.

  • September 2020: Article in the magazine Persona.

  • August 2020: Group exhibition "Carmina" at the Little Big Galerie in Paris.

  • February 2020: Exhibition "I am my body, I am my memory" with my collective Action Hybride at 59, Rivoli in Paris.

  • January 2020: Solo exhibition of my series "Origins" at the Aberrante Gallery in Montpellier.

  • December 2019: Publication of my first monograph "Frontières Invisibles" at Corridor Eléphant.

  • August 2019: Publication of my series "Mater Dolorosa" in the Oeil de la Photographie.

  • July 2019: "L'Impromptue" - Group exhibition in Arles at the Odyssette gallery with my collective Action Hybride.

  • March 2019: Publication of my series "Blocs de Chair" and interview in NIEPCEBOOK "Genres, cultures, societies" at Corridor Elephant.

  • November 2018: "Fleischeslust Festival, The kinky Festival", group exhibition with Laurent Benaïm in Berlin.

  • October 2018: "Des sexes et des femmes", group exhibition at 59, Rivoli in Paris. (curated by Juliet Drouar)

  • September 2018: "g\'il.les", curated with Louise Dumont and Louise A. De Paume, group show at 59, Rivoli in Paris.

  • July 2018: "Sillons" at the Voies Off des Rencontres Photographiques d'Arles at La Boucherie.

  • May 2018: Publication of my series "Blocs de Chair" in THE OPERA MAGAZINE (collection directed by Matthias Straub).

  • March 2018 : " Blocs de Chair " , solo exhibition at the Aberrante gallery in Montpellier.

  • February 2018: Creation of a poster for the association Act-Up.

  • December 2017: "Les Immontrables", group show, Le Lab in Marseille.

  •                              Participation in the Alwomanach, feminist calendar by the 52 collective.

  • September 2017: " Ce que les corps racontent ", collective exhibition with Françoise Simpère and Madeleine Froment at 59, Rivoli in Paris.

  • July 2017: "Pietàs Profanes" at Voies Off des Rencontres Photographiques d'Arles, La Boucherie.

  • June 2017: Exhibition at the Cabinet des Curieux in Paris.

  • April 2017: Publication of the photographic collection " Blocs de Chairs ", Editions Crocs Electriques.

  • March 2017: "NAKED! Prologue à l'éveil", an immersive photographic and literary exhibition about violence against women. Curator: Julia Parisel. Gare XP.

  • Conference on the representation of women in art, Paris 3

  • November 2016: Group exhibition "Nos Chairs", Rencontres Parisiennes de la Photographie Contemporaine at Marché Dauphine, Saint Ouen

  • October 2015: Jury member at the Vernon Film Festival

  • September 2015 : Interview in " Les Carnets de la Création " by Aude Lavigne on France Culture

  • Exhibition at the Rencontres Parisiennes de la Photographie Contemporaine du 7ème in Paris

  • August 2015: Publication of 12 photos in " L'entrepôt magazine ".

  • July 2015: Article by Pierre-Jérôme Adjedj in the art magazine "Cassandre - Hors Champs

  • Since February 2015 : Regular collaboration to the erotic magazine " Le Bateau ".

  • October 2014 : Exhibition at the Night of Contemporary Photography in Paris

  • September 2014 : " Vanda Spengler ... aura ta peau " selected at the Vernon Film Festival

  • February 2014 : " Vanda Spengler...aura ta peau ", documentary by Antoine Desrosières, about my photographic process (production Les Films en hiver)

  • 2013 : Creation of the Expomobile, a system of wheeled racks to exhibit in a nomadic and autonomous way

  • 2012 : Procreation in the literal and figurative sense (see series "La Bestiole")

  • June 2011: Solo exhibition of the series "Epidermes" at the Galerie David Guiraud, 75003, Paris

  • November 2010: 8 photos in "The Mammoth Book of New Erotic Photography" by Maxim Jacubowski

  • February 2009: Publication of 2 photos in " 1979-2009, 30 years of eroticism " by Hugo

  • November 2008: Report on my work in the TV show "En attendant minuit" on TPS September

  • Born on 12/08/1982 in Geneva

"Chronology"

la-bestiole-1.jpg
mater dolorosa 5.jpg
mater dolorosa 5.jpg

"Mater Dolorosa" Series - Vanda Spengler

©Vanda Spengler all rights reserved

"Mater Dolorosa" Series - Vanda Spengler

©Vanda Spengler all rights reserved

mater dolorosa 4.jpg

"Mater Dolorosa" Series - Vanda Spengler

©Vanda Spengler all rights reserved

mater dolorosa 6.jpg

"Mater Dolorosa" Series - Vanda Spengler

©Vanda Spengler all rights reserved

mater dolorosa1.jpg

"Mater Dolorosa" Series

You are my womb. The flesh of my flesh. You feed me as much as you devour me.
You are in turn my shadow or my lightning.
I capture these glances, these life impulses that already belong to the past, to our history, made of struggles and fusions.
Visceral. Primitive. Complex.
Wreathed in fantasies of perfect happiness when the reality is also tinged with powerlessness, doubts and abnegation.
I observe and scrutinise you. I tame you, little animal.
And we move forward. By groping.


Vanda Spengler

 

 
 

"HAVOC 288" - Paula Rosa

Photography / Digital Painting

©Paula Rosa all rights reserved

 

"Stew of Damned" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

DSC_6736.jpg

The photograph as a mental projection of the inner disorder. This series presents the different monsters that cohabit our torn souls, the self-destructive, the benevolent, the lost, the wandering, the enraged, the peacemakers, the painful, the powerless.

In these vast and anonymous basements, these monsters-emotions, these buried demons who personify themselves as deformed replicas of ourselves, struggle, fulminate or wait resignedly. Prisoners of their cranial box, these paradoxical states of being are superimposed, without anything coming out, without anything being decided, nothing, until the eyes really open, the box opens, and the monsters escape to reveal who we are.


Vanda Spengler

 

"Pietàs Profanes" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

piétà impression 30x45.jpg

"Pietàs Profanes" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

vandaspengler9.jpg

«The description of a thought or action,» writes Dylan Thomas, «can be made familiar by relating it to the physical level. Any intuitive or intellectual idea can be imagined and translated into terms of the body - flesh, skin, blood, muscles, veins, glands, organs, cells or senses.»
Vanda Spengler is a photographer who is fascinated by the impenetrable cruelty of surfaces, and she sticks to the skin. The skin as a cover and as a frame; the skin as a screen that both conceals and reveals the inner cartography of the being.
For therein lies the artist’s primary intention who, through her Pietà Profanes, strives to capture, as close as possible to that melancholic and naked beast that is the human body, the physical signature of an incalculable distress, torn between High and Low: On the one hand, the tension of the muscles and ligaments that carries the glory of the being under a sky that looks like a false advertisement; on the other, the inevitable collapse of the flesh that yields to the call of the Earth. From then on, seduced by the coolness of the shadows, the softness of the cellars, of the underground, we may stop halfway, and the world may come to our bedside. Our loved ones surround us, accompany us - at least with their eyes. Some cradle us. Others, perhaps, close their eyes to us...
And yet we see: although they are together, close together or entangled, the bodies will never really manage to mix. Thus begins the experience of solitude - the only true infinity we still have at our disposal.

 


Sylvain Besnard
 

"Pietàs Profanes" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

DSC_5265-copie.jpg

"Pietàs Profanes" Series

DSC_6736.jpg
piétà impression 30x45.jpg

"Stew of Damned"

carcasses #5.jpg
 
 

"Stew of Damned" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

carcasses #5.jpg

 « When we tell ourselves stories about food, we tell ourselves about our origins and our values. Where does the meat come from? How is it produced? How are the animals treated and does it matter? What are the social and environmental consequences of eating animals ? »

« I just wanted to understand what meat IS, I wanted to know as concretely as possible. Maybe there is no such thing as «meat». There is this animal, raised on this farm, killed in this slaughterhouse, sold in this way and eaten by this person. »                                                                                                                                      


Excerpts from « Should We Eat Animals ? »
Jonathan Safran Foer

Blocs de chair#2-50X70.jpg

"Blocks of Flesh" Series

"Blocks of Flesh" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

Blocs de chair#2-50X70.jpg

"Blocks of Flesh" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

piétas14.jpg

This series is about the entanglement of bodies. The flesh is piled up without artifice. Vanda Spengler uses flesh as a raw material that can be modelled at will. The beings she stages are linked to each other, they become a living assembly, a collective body. Piles of intertwined bodies, a skin that seems continuous and unique, this is a question of otherness, human interaction, living together and gregariousness. It is a question of associating with one’s fellow human beings in a cry of pure vitality.


Vanda Spengler

"Blocks of Flesh" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

blocs de chair #3.jpg

"Blocks of Flesh" Series - Vanda Sprengler

©Vanda Sprengler all rights reserved

blocs de chair#1- 60x80.jpg

"Carcasses" Series