VENUS & MERCURY by Viviane Sassen

オランダ人フォトグラファー、ヴィヴィアン・サッセン(Viviane Sassen)の作品集。オランダ人グラフィックデザイナー、イルマ・ボーム(Irma Boom)が装丁を手掛け、作家自ら1冊ずつ表紙に手形ペインティングを施した、アートオブジェとも言えるパッケージに仕上がっている。

2018年、フランスのヴェルサイユ宮殿に招待された作者は、その広大な敷地の至るところで撮影し、本シリーズを制作。収録された100点以上の作品は、6カ月もの時間をかけて宮殿の贅沢な庭園や金色に輝くバロック様式のインテリア、彫刻、さらにはマリーアントワネットの私的書簡をも自由に撮影した。殊に彫刻においては、宮殿にある多くの大理石彫像が表すその身体に魅せられ、作者はセクシュアリティとジェンダーの概念と戯れるかの如くハイブリッドな作品を描いた。作者の依頼で、オランダ人小説家であり詩人、劇作家のマジョリーン・ファン・ヘムストラ(Marjolijn van Heemstra)が書き下ろした詩も収録。その一連の作品は、宮廷社会における陰謀の歴史を暗示している。

Acclaimed Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen collaborates with legendary book designer Irma Boom to offer a fresh and radical vision of the Palace of Versailles.

A storied site of history, opulence, and political power, France’s Palace of Versailles has long captured the imagination of both the public and many acclaimed photographers. In 2018, Viviane Sassen was invited by Versailles to make a series of photographs throughout its vast grounds. For six months, she was given free rein, often after official hours, when the buildings were empty, to wander and photograph the palace’s extravagant gardens, gilded baroque interiors, and even Marie Antoinette’s private correspondence.
Venus & Mercury is Versailles as you’ve never seen the storied locale before. Drawn to the bodies represented in the palace’s many marble statues, Sassen created hybrid forms that play with notions of sexuality and gender and call to mind traditions of Surrealist art and the work of figures such as Hans Bellmer. The book, featuring more than one hundred images, brims with Sassen’s surprising, pigment-splashed photomontages that play with vivid color and abstracted forms—and a group of women, born and raised in the town beyond the palace walls, appears throughout the book, modern-day protagonists photographed within grand palatial chambers.

A series of poems by Marjolijn van Heemstra, commissioned by Sassen, allude to histories of intrigue in court society. Conceived and designed by iconic bookmaker Irma Boom, Venus & Mercury is a unique art object with a double-gatefold cover, packaged in a custom-made box, each individually painted by Sassen.

by Viviane Sassen

REGULAR PRICE ¥22,000  (tax incl.)

172 pages
241 x 298 mm
limited edition of 1,000 copies

published by APERTURE