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Social bodies
Martine Fougeron: Nicolas & Adrien

Social bodies

Documenting the individual as a social being: rules, codes and paradoxes

Merry Alpern » Peggy Anderson » Martine Fougeron » Dave Heath » Tanya Marcuse »

Exhibition: 12 Mar – 13 Apr 2024

Galerie Miranda

21 rue du Château d’Eau
75010 Paris

+33(0)1-40 38 36 53


Tue-Sat 12-19

Social bodies
Merry Alpern: Dirty Windows #6, 1995

"Social bodies"
Documenting the individual as a social being: rules, codes and paradoxes

Works by Merry Alpern, Peggy Anderson, Martine Fougeron, Dave Heath, Tanya Marcuse

Exhibition: 12 March – 13 April 2024

Social bodies is the second in a series of four capsule exhibitions that celebrate Galerie Miranda's 6th birthday.

Curated across broad themes by gallery founder Miranda Salt, with both new and inventory works, this anniversary cycle reviews the gallery's choices to date and places historical photographic references in conversation with contemporary signatures.

Social bodies presents distinctive works that broach different aspects of intimacy - beauty, bodies, stereotypes, privacy, desire, love and the end of love - with staged, documented and narrated bodies of work produced from the mid 1970s to today.

Merry Alpern (1955, USA) is a contemporary American photographer known for her controversial oeuvre and utilization of surveillance photography. Born on March 15, 1955 in New York, NY, Alpern studied sociology at Grinnell College in Iowa, but returned to New York before graduating in order to pursue photography. Today, works from Dirty Windows and Shopping feature in major private and museum collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Works from the series were exhibited in 1996 at the Fondation Cartier (Paris) in a group exhibition entitled By Night; in 2010 at the Tate Modern (London) in a major exhibition entitled Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera and in the 2017 exhibition at the ICP Museum (New York), for the group exhibition Public, Private, Secret.

Peggy Anderson (1964, USA) is an artist/photographer based in New York and Sweden, currently living in Paris. She graduated from The International Center of Photography (ICP) Creative Practice program in 2013 after many years of photography classes and workshops. Peggy’s work often embraces ritual and typology. The Morning Dip book was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2020. Her other signature project and book, Subway Readers, has also been exhibited at Fotografiska. This is a series of people reading books on the New York City subway. Some of these images are in the collection at The Museum of the City of New York. While not necessarily a portrait photographer, Peggy finds herself drawn to photographing people not only for the challenge, but also for the interaction. Working with both digital and analog film cameras are part of her creative process. Much of her image making is also inspired by her childhood summers spent in the Swedish countryside.

Born in Paris, photographer Martine Fougeron (1954, France) moved to New York in the 1990s. Her personal work has been exhibited in the United States, China, France, Italy, South Korea and Switzerland. The Adrien & Nicolas series, produced from 2008 and published by Steidl in 2020, recounts the lives of her two sons, whom she brought up alone between the Bronx and the family home in the hamlet of Esparon, in the Cévennes. Adrien & Nicolas was exhibited in summer 2023 at the Château d'Assas, and in 2013 at the Gallery at Hermès in NYC. Works from this series now feature in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As part of the exhibition at the Château d'Assas, Fougeron has made a 30-minute short film, Summertime à Esparon, which tells the story of family life around the Esparon house, with extracts from colour films shot on 16mm film from the 1950s by the artist's father and grandfather, edited with contemporary images by the artist.

Social bodies
Peggy Anderson: Morning Dip Ulrika, Agnes 2016

Abandoned by his parents in his early childhood, Dave Heath (1931, Philadelphia, USA; 2016, Toronto, Canada) began photographing during the late 1940s. He briefly studied art at the Philadelphia College of Art and the Institute of Design in Chicago, supporting himself as assistant to commercial photographers. By 1959, Heath was in New York where he studied with the ground-breaking photojournalist W. Eugene Smith. Working in the streets, Heath used its inhabitants to capture individual moments in tightly structured compositions that are charged with the importance of their individuality and the seriousness of their situation. Early on, he was inspired by the ability of a sequence of photographs vs. a single image to evoke the complexity of his story. Heath first came to prominence with the 1963 exhibition A Dialogue With Solitude, publihsed as a book in 1965, a moving series of black and white images addressing contemporary isolation. Heath subsequently won two Guggenheim Fellowships. In the 1970s, after moving to Toronto, Heath began experimenting with Polaroid technology and produced a series of narrative works under the title Songs of Innocence. From 1970 until 1997, Heath taught photography at Toronto Metropolitan University (Formerly Ryerson University) in Toronto. Dave Heath died in Toronto on his 85th birthday in 2016. His photographs are represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; International Museum of Photography, New York; George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; The Getty, Los Angeles; Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; among other institutions. Works by Dave Heath are presented at Galerie Miranda in collaboration with Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC.

Tanya Marcuse (1964, USA) began making photographs as an early college student at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She went on to study Art History and Studio Art at Oberlin and earned her MFA from Yale. Her photographs are in many collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the George Eastman Museum. In 2002, she received a Guggenheim fellowship to pursue her project Undergarments & Armor. In 2005, she embarked on a three-part, fourteen-year project, Fruitless | Fallen | Woven. Fueled by the Biblical narrative of the fall from Eden, these related projects use increasingly fantastical imagery and more elaborate methods of construction to explore cycles of growth and decay and the dynamic tension between the passage of time and the photographic medium. Tanya’s books include Undergarments and Armor (Nazraeli Press, 2005), Wax Bodies, (Nazraeli Press, 2012), Fruitless | Fallen | Woven (Radius Press, 2019) and INK (Fall Line Press, 2021). She teaches Photography at Bard College, NY.

Social bodies
Martine Fougeron: Nicolas & Adrien 2
Social bodies
Dave Heath: NYC MoMA, April 1966
Social bodies
Tanya Marcuse: Undergarments & Armor corset