American artist Malerie Marder presented a series of previously unexhibited photographs at Blain|Southern, the result of the artist’s four-year collaboration with Violette Editions.
Ever since she began exhibiting her photos in the late 1990s, Marder has explored the psychosexual undertow of her own intimate relationships, frequently shooting herself, along with family and friends, in close quarters (including pay-by-the-hour motels) and, usually, undressed. Her work flirts with prurience, with ideas of privacy and surveillance, eroticism and pornography, and the complications of love.
Discussing ‘Carnal Knowledge,’ Marder says: “I used to have anxiety about my pictures exposing things too private, but the real intimacies are censored out. I still get pangs of self-consciousness, but it’s too late for regret. What was I thinking when I made the pictures? This is in no particular order: fate, kink, performance, a secret, nostalgia, sensual memory, voyeurism, nighttime settings, barren rooms, stark lighting, romantic trysts, foreign environments, intimacy, lack of intimacy, connection, lack of connection, self-reflection, lack of self-reflection, awkwardness, isolation, random, purpose, shadow, vulnerability, immaturity, innocence, amorous bodies, ambiguity, cocoons of emotion, modernist architecture, transience, lurid smells, a patient’s sickbed, love, eroticism, clarity, blushing, bruised, family, boyfriends, conflict, loyalty, disapproval, neuroticism, narcissism, truculence, numbness, sexual discomfort, subconscious, and the past. None of it is relevant now.”*
Marder’s most recent project, titled “Anatomy”, has been photographing call girls and their customers in a brothel in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Carnal Knowledge, which will be published in May by Violette Editions, includes 70 works by Marder and features a preface by Gregory Crewdson, a text by novelist James Ellroy, short stories inspired by Marder's works by A.M. Homes, James Frey and Bruce Wagner, and a written and photographic correspondence between Marder and Philip-Lorca diCorcia.
About Malerie Marder:
Marder studied at Bard College with Stephen Shore and at Yale University with Gregory Crewdson, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Nan Goldin, where she won the Schicke-Collingwood Prize and John Ferguson Weir Award. Her work is in several international collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York). She lives and works in Los Angeles.
* Taken from an email correspondence between Marder and the American photographer, Philip-Lorca diCorcia.