[F]or anyone unfamiliar with architect and designer Carlo Mollino’s Polaroids, the basic story is that after his death in 1973, a huge collection (thousands) of erotic polaroids were discovered hidden in his villa. Taken by Mollino, they featured women in various stages of undress, styled and made-up for the camera. Mollino had further painstakingly retouched many of the images with an extremely fine brush to attain an idealised version of the female form. The resulting images are completely unnerving, and yet also fascinating and beautiful.
Hidden Within, artist and photographer Sam Roddick’s ‘homage’ to Mollino opens tomorrow at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in Knightsbridge. Using Polariods as her inspiration, Roddick is focusing in on the subject of voyeurism and the male gaze as a means of exploring the related notions of cultural sexual shame and anxiety that exist in society. The images are all named ‘Sophia’, linking to the androgynous symbol which is thought of as the original state where god was born from.
We spoke to Sam ahead of her opening. It’s a long interview, but it’s really worth the read.