Huis Marseille

Diane Severin Nguyen

10 September 2022 until 4 December 2022


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Every photographic image by Diane Severin Nguyen (1990, Carson, USA) evokes a strange sensation in the viewer. Nguyen creates complex images that confound interpretation using unusual, flesh-like materials, sensual lighting, and vivid colours.

Her detailed photos have something eerie about them, as if the unexpected could occur at any moment.

In her photographic work, Nguyen uses both organic and synthetic materials, such as latex, hair, and liquids, though none are recognizable as such. The materials are often intentionally captured in states of transformation: at the precise moment when a physical tension arises. In the work Daily affirmations (2021), it looks as though part of an (animal) skin is being pulled on with a chain, piercing a hole in the skin. Nguyen manipulates the lighting by using prosthetic light sources, such as battery-powered LED lights or the flashlight of an iPhone. She uses unique hand-made steel frames with a rainbow effect to frame her photos, giving an extra dimension to the manipulated lighting.

Nguyen speaks of the ‘wounds’ and ‘ruptures’ she seeks to document in her work. The materials she uses in her staged compositions are often very delicate, capturing the moment when the construction breaks, tears, or collapses. By creating unusual sculptures from found organic and artificial materials, Nguyen detaches these materials from their usual function. She describes the medium of photography as a ‘liquid language’, breaking with its existing hierarchies and meanings.

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10 September 2022 until 4 December 2022

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Huis Marseille

Keizersgracht 401
1016 EK Amsterdam
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020 - 53 18 989

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