2021-12-19 FOCUS ON: Stéphanie Roland

During the period 17-31decembre 2021 Malmö fotobiennal will focus on one of the selected artist on each day. The photographers/artist are all included in the curated exhibition: UTOPIA | A NOWHERE LAND

Complex systems from western societies create, through their functioning, ambiguous zones where confusion between reality and fiction operates. This notion of fiction is central to Stéphanie Roland’s conceptual work. The artist is interested in immaterial, invisible and negative entities generated by our system of which they are an integral part and which they influence. Her work questions the possibilities of the representation of these ghosts of western civilizations. From financial products to phantom islands, and from airline blacklists to deep Web, Stéphanie Roland works on embodying these hidden phenomena of our knowledge in a dialectical interplay between physical presence and immateriality.

The representation of the future, revealing the functioning of present-day society, is central to Stéphanie Roland’s work. Through her taste for forecast and anticipation, she deals with essential contemporary issues. She draws her inspiration from various scientific fields, from astronomy to sociology through neurosciences. In her work, the robotic perspective and the proximity of imminent upheaval contribute to modify the content of traditional patterns. Hence, the representations of the home, the family or childhood become inhospitable, almost on the verge of dehumanisation.

These contemporary narrations call for a multidisciplinary approach and a large variety of media: photography, film, silkscreen, sculpture, installation, sound, new technologies. The artist’s experimentations around light and projection, as well as her use of thermochromic inks, special papers and laser cuts foster the creation of a singular, sensorial experience for the viewer, while revisiting the exhibition format and its protocol. In this apparent diversity, the questioning surrounding the image remains the guiding principle; her installations reveal, at various levels, its spectral side and potential disappearance.

Stéphanie Roland is a belgian / micronesian visual artist and filmmaker who studied media arts at the ENSAV – La Cambre (Brussels) and at UDK – Universität der Künste (Berlin), in Hito Steyerl and Thomas Arslan’s class. She regularly gives talks about her practice; among others, she was TEDx Brussels speaker in 2018. She’s now artist at Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains, producing new projects.

Her work is regularly shown at international level. Her projects have been included in exhibitions from major institutions including Louvre Museum (FR), Benaki Museum (GR), Botanique (BE), Kampala International Art Biennale (UG), Bozar (BE) and Wiels (BE). Breda Photo (NL), Belfast Photo festival (IE), Manifesto (FR), Encontros da Imagem (PO), BIP Liège (BE), MOPLA (US), Unseen (NL) and Rencontres Internationales Paris / Berlin are amongst the festivals dedicated to Photography and Films in which she took part. In 2017, she was selected in the group exhibition of the Antarctica Pavilion for the 57th Venice Biennale.

She won an impressive number of prizes and grants, notably the grant of the Vocatio foundation, the Médiatine award and the Full Contact award at the SCAN Tarragona international festival of photography. She was shortlisted for the HSBC Photography Award, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, the Vevey International Photography Award, the Salomon foundation award, BMW Residency Award and the Prix Jeunes artistes of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.

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