Living in Paris, Tina Merandon has been conducting over the past several years a personal research on our relationships with others, with exchanges at centre stage of her work. Her Themes are linked with conflict resolution conveyed by dancing, playing, sports, music and love. Working closely with her models, in a continuous search for pictorial perspectives, Tina Merandon combines colour and body language, leading to increasingly abstract or graphical shapes. Her work revolves around bodies, skin and gestures - whether animal or human. The artist's photographs are often exhibited in galleries and institutions and private collections including the Fond national d'art contemporain and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Her portraits of French political personalities commisioned by the French daily Le Monde and work created during numerous photographic residencies in France and abroad has been published in several photography books.
Photography books and catalogs:
Circus - sponsored by Canson 1999
Syndromes - 2001
Escape - Editions Diaphane 2009
Vertigo - (30 portaits of French politicians) Edition Diaphane 2012
Anima - Catalog 2014
Boxing - 2016
Exhibition to come:
Gallery NegPos - Fotoloft, Nîmes 10 May-6 June
Carrè d'Art - Film view, Nîmes 23-31 May
Collective SALO - Paris, June
Series for arty#fab
Petites Danseuses (2014)
Les Petites Danseuses features powerful colored backgrounds - orange, red and golden yellow - vibrant to a point that they call for the presence of strong "resistant" bodies: little girls between childhood and adolescence are captured in movement, like masses of energy. With all their strength, they move, jump, stretch, wind and unfold, causing the surroundings to vibrate, in chthonic dances that in my mind suggest Wim Vandekeybus' first choreographies - where bodies jump brutally, shock and clash, releasing an incredible energy. In this piece, energy comes from Mother Earth, a Goddess worshiped by primitive cultures - and a significant figure for Tina Merandon. The characters are all barefoot, which isn't a mere anecdote. Our feet are considered a very special part of our body: springing the wildest fetishistic fantasies when slipped in a high stiletto, or even a symbol of rejection, down to vileness. Barefoot, these little dancers seem to draw their insatiable energy from Mother Earth - running, romping and shooting up in the air. In this piece, the Internet-generation children from the digital and dematerialization worlds rebound with something primitive and original: they do not exactly dance, they are beyond grace, they "dash" - so to speak. Hair in flight, free from barrettes, rubbers, braids or ponytails, the girls endlessly fracture the space around them with their long hair - untamed at last - in the same way that they arm their anger. Because, without a doubt, they are moving, jumping, and bowing "against"... Against what? They alone know the answer: against their suffering, their loneliness perhaps, against a world they had dreamt of... and didn't show up. In a beautiful savagery, the little dancers, indomitable, invent their own space - claiming, furiously, that another body is possible. Text by Dominique Baqué
This piece is about training: work in progress on fighting and its techniques: how to resist,which strategy to adopt, the speed of the blows and dodging. About body sublimation and the mechanics of doubt. Far from the fabulous boxing legends, these heroes are tired and on the verge of failing. They are fragile and full of doubt. And this vulnerability is what brings them alive. Life in bodies. In a moral, psychic and physical continuum, the boxer in action meditates. Here, the artist questions the power and the violence that can be made to oneself. How much can a body take? Strength has its limits... and the boxer pushes them away with his spirit. Is strength a mere moment between two weaknesses? With a pure and fragile spirit, the boxer looks for intimate resources in the eyes of other people - in their judgement - gearing both body and spirit... Who ever said boxing was a "wild science"? Out of focus, the camera shows the strength and vulnerability of bodies in sweat, training rinks, used ropes, smashed striking bags, wild glances and soaked shirts... Bodies and hearts without defence, searching for answers. Powerful bodies in our face - like a punch! The average camera format Phase one renders the rich textures of skin. "Boxing" is an order placed by the city of Rosny sous Bois (a Paris suburb) with the support of the General Council of Seine St Denis.
Full Moon (2016)
This photographic series on love in Hong Kong was made during the autumn of 2016. Its title: “Full Moon” refers to the major full moon festival in Hong Kong, that coincidently took place on the day of Tina Merandon's arrival. Many myths are founded on the full moon. Whether a daydream or a wish, it always refers to something pure and soft - a perfect fit with the inner spirit of Asia. In this artwork, beauty is moderate and non aggressive. Underlying are the Asian gestures of love - more modest than in the West. Here, the couples' emotions and destinies are managed differently, from a private and public point of view. The codes of conduct are different. It all happens at night in the city, where couples meet and search for each other. In the series' background, spreads of warm colours and the dazzling camera flashes reflect the electrical pulse of this ever-changing city. Dominant and permanent, red comes as the eternal symbol of vital passion, at all levels. Occasional bits of green plastic for "captured nature" also rhythm the scenes. But the atmosphere remains consistently poetic. Full Moon was created with the support of the Alliance Française, the Hong- Kong International PhotoFestival and Diaphane.