Nathalie Daoust’s photographs reflect a love for random places and a wild, inexhaustible sense of inquisitiveness. The Canadian Daoust has traveled extensively and explored places as diverse as Swiss naturists populating the Alps in Frozen in Time to female fragility in the Chinese Dolls series.
Daoust has created an oeuvre that is both diverse and intense. Seeking to translate her almost childlike curiosity, her perseverance and her highly individual interpretation of the world into fairytale like stories, Daoust single-handedly creates new myths about modern day society, as well as real-life stories of the underdogs.
ILEX is proud to host the worldwide premiere of Nathalie Daoust’s China Dolls.
Exposition China Dolls at Ilex Gallery
(Text from Ilex Gallery in Rome)
In 2006, Nathalie Daoust went to China for an artist residency with the Red Gate Gallery and fell in love with the culture. Since then, She has looked for any excuse to go back and has spent many months exploring the country.
Over the years, she became more and more intrigued by the role that women play in society, how quickly it's changing and especially by the consequences of the one child policy - what it means for woman and how this generation is dealing with it. (Both with the daughter who were not wanted, as with the mothers that believed it was a disadvantage to have a daughter).
Intrigued by this new generation of women and their struggle in the modern world, Nathalie decided to photograph them individually, documenting their separate stories within... Exposition Nathalie Daoust - China Dolls
China Dolls is a compilation of insightful portraits of Chinese women that intimately seeps into their idiosyncrasy, exploring the dense layers of a new generation that has only recently sprung in the country. Through deeply personally engaged images, Nathalie Daoust uses her lens to observe and reveal their emotions.
The role of the woman in China has never been exempt from a controversy that, in the recent years, has become more manifest due to the country’s progressive international presence. A radical economic growth is bringing changes that the country undergoes indivisibly together with puritanical morals. For centuries there was a prominent male domination and women were subject to fierce discrimination, deprived of all rights and present mainly to serve men. Up until the Communist Revolution, Chinese... Exposition Nathalie Daoust - Tokyo Hotel Story
Nathalie Daoust’s latest project, Tokyo Hotel Story, continues her exploration of female sexuality and subversion of gender stereotypes. Spending several months living in Alpha In, one of the biggest “love hotels” in Japan. Daoust made intimate portraits of 39 women in hotel rooms, surrounded by the specialist equipment and dressed in the regalia that define their trade. Daoust believes numerous challenges still exist in terms of confronting deep-rooted stereotypes of gender-roles. Her work helps her to delve beyond taboos while showing the universal human desire to escape reality and create fantasy worlds that often oscillate between dream, reality and perversion.
... Exposition Head On Photography Festival in Sydney - Nathalie Daoust- Impersonating Mao
The work of Montreal-born photographer, Nathalie Daoust, maps the blurred boundary between reality and imagination to explore ideas of fantasy and escape. For her new project, ‘Impersonating Mao’, Daoust focuses on the interior world of an impersonator who assumes the appearance and bearing of Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China. Daoust’s portraits record her subject’s desire to flee reality and take refuge in a dream world of half-truth and illusion.
When Daoust first met her subject in 2008 - posing as Mao in Tiananmen Square as an act of personal homage - she was intrigued by his construction of an alternate identity from the iconography of his country’s troubled past. In 2010, she returned to Beijing and photographed the impersonator extensively, both in a do... Exposition Tokyo Hotel Story & Frozen in Time - Nathalie Daoust
In Tokyo’s red-light district, there are so-called “Love Hotels” with themed rooms. This is a fantasy world where punters can act out their inner most desires. However, Nathalie Daoust is interested in the women who work at the “Alpha In”, which is one of the largest hotels of this kind. A portrait was created showing 39 women in their rooms with the respective furnishings. One enters a very different world that doesn’t just offer men the possibility to escape reality by assuming different roles and reinventing themselves. Nathalie Daoust spent several months at this well-known nightclub in order to carefully approach this subject. Besides one-in-one interviews and the experiences on-site, her work in the darkroom is considered to be the most important process, in which she develope...