EMERGING ARTIST INTERVIEWS: Marilène Coolens and Lisa De Boeck

IMAGE: I'm an Old Woman Now, 1996 / from The Umbilical Vein by Marilène Coolens and Lisa De Boeck 1. Tell us about your image.

Lisa: It's an image from our analogue image archive 'The Umbilical Vein' where my mother Marilène Coolens photographed me from 1990 till 2003 while playing improvised theatrical sketches. It's a work that deals with identity, metamorphosis and the maternal relationship. An intimate work that documents my journey to adulthood during the nineties and reveals both the foundations of our close mother-daughter bond and our professional career as artistic duo, under the moniker memymom since 2004.

The retrospective 'The Umbilical Vein' was exhibited for the first time at The Flemish Arts Center 'de Brakke Grond' in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

2. What type of Energy were you trying to express or capture in this photograph?

Marilène: Energy of the spontaneous kind. This was the first time I got to witness Lisa’s strength in front of the camera and how she made use of it. I did not tell her to pose like Marilyn but I remember thinking she is like Monroe. She had the same strength and natural ease that only a few people have. She started playing different characters, not only the little princess, and that went hand in hand with the intelligence and understanding of things. Lisa apprehended herself this style of acting where she was able to build up a character to its fullest glory, but as quickly as it was built up, she also broke the character down quickly and mocked it as well.

3. Why Photography? What about it inspires and excites you?

Lisa: Photography is a way of observing and expressing and discovering the different layers that a story actually carries. There’s much to discover afterwards when looking at our photographs and emotionally that can be very soothing, it’s like a map of the unconscious. 4. Our upcoming issue is centered around the theme of 'Fantasy'. What is your fantasy, right now?

M. and L.: It would be to photograph Lena Dunham, Miranda July and James Franco.


Musée Magazine No. 7 vol.1: energy

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