The Russian photographer Natasha Gudermane is currently living in Paris and she is working on her recent project “Mademoiselles”. It is about capturing different women at home with their personal surrounding, -completely naked. Naturally, free and easy. In our interview she tells us, if it´s difficult for the models to show themselves without clothes and what she is thinking about feminity.
I think I am a slighty old-fashioned person: in this world of equality of sexes, I keep striving for everything that emphasizes the difference between men and women. I love undressing people in front of my camera because I belive that it sends them back to the idea of who they are, to the idea of their gender. I noticed, that women always look more feminine when they are nude, not because we can see the smoothness of their skin or the beauty of body lines, but because they behave differently. Finding themselves with nothing on to cover their bodies, my models show their vulnerability, sensuality, grace. They allow themselves to be weaker and softer and forget about the control at least for some moments.
Why starting the project “Mademoiselles”?
When I had just arrived to Paris, I had this idea in my head about what Parisian women should be like. I imagined Paris as a capital of chique, charme and seduction. Instead, I found a very dynamic city with ambitious, independent and always busy girls running up and down. I also felt a kind of distance between us and this puzzled me, I wanted to know what hides behind this behaviour in public. Being a foreigner and feeling sligtly derooted, I tried to get closer to the things around me by studying and understanding them, and that is by photographing them. Thus I started my project .
Is it difficult for your friends and strangers to get naked?
I was surprised to see how easily girls accepted to pose nude for me and with what courage they removed their clothes in front of my camera. While some models are naturally confident, others take the project as a personal challenge, where they have their own issues to solve, their own fears and complexes to overcome. But once decided, they just go ahead.
I take a huge inspiration from literature and language, often phrases come first and images come next. But in this particular project I am inspired first of all by the women themselves, by the life in Paris, but also by the old masters of painting like Vermeer, for example.