Canadian-born and adopted New Yorker, Marianna Rothen (1982) has been working on both sides of the camera for about 15 years. Being a fashion model she started taking photographs of landscapes she saw on her travels and of the other models during waiting periods at castings. Since then she has developed this theme further.
Inspired by European art house films of the 1960’s and early 1970’s, she creates narratives that reference the heroines of those days: Strong and adored but still vulnerable and misunderstood. Through these deeply – evocative and sensual photographs Rothen explores tensions – which still exist today – between a woman having to succumb to how society expects her to behave – along stringent culturally-embedded gender lines – and her innermost desire to become bold, reasserting herself more as an independent creature of alterity.
Cleverly the photographer blurs the border of what is real and the imaginary. Even though the motives are staged and clearly fictional, where the models slip into a role or character they can play with, the situations seem strangely familiar.
Through the aesthetics of Polaroid photography Rothen manages to revive the warm light of past days. Intimate moments are exposed through the artists’ eye, as the observer involuntarily becomes the voyeur of superficial innocence.
To date Rothen’s work has been exhibited in Paris, Sydney and New York.