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Meet The Heidies. This Swiss bred, Parisian-based duo work seamlessly together to create a fantastical world through photography. Here we explore their joint artistic practice and learn more about how they capture moments of spontaneity and fragile innocence.
What inspired you to leave Switzerland and settle in Paris?
Caroline: I followed a friend. I was in London for a year to study dance and after a bad injury couldn’t dance anymore. Paris was an opportunity to rebound, to explore something else elsewhere.
Pascaline: I settle to my grandmother’s house at the age of 18 to practice theatre classes in Paris. I went 5 days a week to watch movies, theatre, exhibitions… and I’m here since 25 years!
What inspired you to begin collaborating in your artistic practices?
Pascaline: I’m very fond of Caroline's work. she is so sensitive, intelligent and delicate. One day she asked me to shoot her dancing. Fusing our universes was very interesting. We decided to explore together.
Caroline: I wanted to say something through my body, dancing. I asked Pascaline if she could take pictures of that performance. Her eyes were so delicate and careful! Feeling that respect and freedom in front of someone is rare…This was our first story. From there we decided to continue to create and explore together.
How did you conceive of the Heidies as a collaborative artistic endeavor?
Within a defined framework of units of time, place and action, we explore gesture and material to extract a moment of delicate balance.
And what inspired the name behind it?
Heidi is a little girl who lives with her grandfather in the Swiss montains. Her character belongs to the Swiss cultural heritage. We share in our craft her values: freedom, simplicity and authenticity. And we like the prononciation close to "ideas".
What part of your art process is most exciting to you?
The moment when shooting, inspiration, "letting go" and action intertwine into one. And then viewing the images afterwards is always exciting.
The Heidies say
“There are no rules. We let the energy and the moment decide, when together in a place.”
Where do you find inspiration in daily life and your environment?
Caroline: Inspiration comes from a desire to be together and create together. As Pascaline says, it starts at first from a small and subtle exchange. We find inspiration while shooting as well, as we are together and in the place and let go
Pascaline: We are very close friends. We talk every day. A word, an image, a sensation, even a smell, can initiate new artistic desires.
Tell us about the process behind your shared practice and this new body of work specifically?
There’s no rules. We let the energy and the moment decide, when together in a place. Pascaline shoots and Caroline performs, but we can also perform together. The final selection is made together and Pascaline works on the pictures.
How are your individual practices reflected in The Heidies?
Even if we each have our own part - Pascaline takes the pictures and works on the post production; Caroline moves and often selects the cloths for a shoot - the creation comes through a constant exchange. We evolve in a symbiosis.
Who are some contemporaries or figures in art history who have inspired your work?
We have many common inspirations: Francesca Woodman, Bill Viola, Helena Almeida, Mark Borthwick, Viviane Sassen, Yves Klein, Nikki de St Phalle.
About The Heidies
The Heidies’ photographies are built into short stories. No faces visible here but a research around a transformation, a step as natural evolution
The Heidies is a collaboration between photographer Pascaline Dargant and artist and dancer Caroline Denervaud, hailing from Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland, respectively. Conceived in Paris during an impromptu photoshoot in 2014, Dargant began photographing Denervaud rehearsing choreography, giving rise to an altogether new artistic practice for the pair. Working instinctively within a defined framework of time, place and action, The Heidies’ work explores gesture and material to extract a moment of delicate balance. They search for the instant when control is lost - a fragile moment of reincarnation. By removing faces, the recognizable becomes transformed, resulting in photographs that aim to trigger the audience to compose their own narratives.
Pascaline Dargant b. 1973, Geneva, CH Caroline Denervaud b. 1978, Lausanne, CH Both live and work in Paris, France
“There are no rules. When together in a place, we let the energy and the moment decide.” - The Heidies
Tappan Collective, Online, USA
2018, Elle Américain 2018, Hajinskymag, Londres, Berlin, Amsterdam 2017, Viola Lovely, Boston 2017, Bonne Maison, Paris 2016, To come: Russh NRmagazine Teeth, GB septembre 2016, Coeval magazine, GB 2016, Waist, Nouvelle Zélande 2016, Cap74024, Italie 2016, TMRW NYC, USA 2015, Venison Magazine, USA 205
2016, Vidéo: No. Ceramiste, New York
Coralie Marabelle, Collaboration and Exhibition, Paris, France
Q. How did you conceive of the Heidies as a collaborative artistic endeavor?