Laetitia Soulier was born in 1978 in Bordeaux, France, studied throughout Paris to receive her BFA from the Art School of Cergy, her MFA from l’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, and a degree in philosophy from the University of Paris. She then studied photography and studio lighting at Les Gobelins, Ecole de l'Image. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Beaux Arts de Paris, and the Musashino University in Tokyo. Most recently she had a solo show at the Aperture Foundation. She was also selected as the New York Photo Festival’s Multimedia category winner and won the Exposure Award grand prize.
It is a mistake to think of Laetitia Soulier’s sensuously constructed images as fantastic imaginings that merely nod to their deceptions of scale and form. In her work, she uses symmetry, scale, order, and balance to create images that play with perception and turn the familiar into the foreign, but these tricks of the eye really serve to engage us in Soulier’s deeper interest—the subjective experience of reality. Much like Lewis Carroll’s alluring fairytales, Soulier offers up a world where fantasy and reality entwine not only to defy common logic, but also to reveal the constant fluctuation that marks human perception.
Soulier makes this point in the Matryoshka images from her series Fractal Architectures (2007–12). She builds and photographs hyperrealistic models of quaint rooms and hallways, which feature young women who appear larger than life in comparison to the miniature objects that surround them. The girls are at once stand-ins for characters in a dark fairytale and playful children caught at that unique age when the mind can move freely between rational thought and fantasy. In Soulier’s words, the environments are “their toy, their home, their childhood, their adulthood, the space between their past and their future.”[i] Each room is wallpapered with fractal patterns adapted from the shape of Russian Matryoshka nesting dolls, which were an original inspiration for the project. This repeating motif, from a mathematical formula that causes patterns to telescope in and out like stacking dolls, confuses the scale of the images, and Soulier uses it to effectively suggest that consciousness and identity are always in flux.
Forms also repeat in Palindromes (2008–09), a series of diptychs that pair symmetrical pictures of urban settings with images of identical twins. Here, children and architecture once again stand in for the human psyche, requiring the eye to skip across the picture plane and compare the small details of corresponding forms. As with Soulier’s other works, she finds a duality between our outer and inner worlds, this time using mundane settings and children to create uncanny binary pairings that seem both familiar and alien.
Through all of her work, Soulier brings us back to childhood, when our sense of self was most malleable and the boundaries between reality and fantasy easily blurred. Her photographs compress space and time, jarring our adult sense of the world and awakening levels of consciousness that are within us all, lying just beyond our lucid reasoning.
Written By Allison Grant, Curator at the museum of Photography of Chicago.
Les Gobelins Ecole de l’Image, Paris, France 2004 – 2006
(Master in Photography and Studio Lighting)
Nanterre Paris X Université, Paris, France 2003 – 2005
DEUG in Philosophy- Diplôme d’Etudes Universitaires Générales (Degree in Philosophy)
L’ENSBA, L’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France 2002 – 2005
DNSEP - Diplôme National Supérieur d’Arts Plastiques (MFA- Master of Fine Arts)
Les Beaux-Arts de Cergy, Paris, France 1999 – 2002
DNAP - Diplôme National d’Arts Plastiques (BFA- Bachelors of Fine Art)
Multimedia category winner of the New York Photo Festival 2012
First Grand Prize of the Exposure Award, Aperture Foundation 2011
Nominee one of the best young artist for the 2011 Year in Review Competition 2011
SEE Art Space, New York United States 2012
Aperture Foundation, New York United States - Solo Show 2012
New York Photo Festival 2012, Multimedia category winner, New York United States 2012
NordArt, Budelsdorf Germany - Catalogue 2012
DUMBO Arts Festival, New York United States 2011
Jade Associates Annual Show, New York United States 2008
La Jeune Création, La Bellevilloise, Paris France - Catalogue 2006
Les Vitrines Culturelles, Bercy, Paris France - Catalogue 2005
Shopping, l’ENSBA, Paris France - Catalogue 2004
La Jeune Création, La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris France - Catalogue 2004
Contemporary Creation, Glaz’art, Paris France 2003
Setsuzoku, Musashino Gallery, Tokyo Japan - Catalogue 2003
21puissance12, Palais de Tokyo, Paris France - Catalogue and DVD 2003
Les Beaux-Art de Paris, l’ENSBA, Paris France 2003
NordArt, Catalogue published by Kunstwerk Carlshutte 2012
La Jeune Création 06, Catalogue published by L’Atelier Graphique Saint Jean 2006
Shopping, Catalogue published by Les Beaux Arts de Paris 2004
La Jeune Création 04, Catalogue published by Autographe 2004
Setsuzoku, Catalogue published by Les Beaux Arts de Paris 2003
21puissance12, Catalogue and DVD published by Les Beaux Arts de Paris 2003