Marie Preaud: “Labor of Love”

Marie Preaud will present “Labor of Love” at the Spéos Gallery, 7 rue Vallès, 75011 Paris, from November 12th, 2019 to January 10th, 2020

Opening of the exhibition: November 12th from 6pm to 9pm.

The city of Schwetzingen is considered Germany’s capital of asparagus. In 2018, the cultural department of Schwetzingen commissioned renowned photographer Marie Preaud to develop a concept for its 350-year anniversary exhibition. The French artist was given total freedom to break with tradition and explore new creative ways. Marie — a long time expert in the field of food photography — took on the challenge and came up with a stunning idea transforming old and modern elements into a poetic and powerful visual language.

Inspired by surrealism, she incorporates three-dimensional elements into her final art piece. A “lifeline” which would run through all her photo collages became the core idea. It struck her when she was following the harvest workers observing their technique. Like eagles they are magically spotting the cracks in the soft soil giving away the secret where to find the royal vegetable.

Marie was fascinated by the patience, passion and persistence of the skilled men and women who would return from abroad to the same farms for decades. Also, the fact that all labor is performed manually — without any help of machinery — left a deep impact. For many years, Marie was using the hand as a metaphor to portrait life, labor and the stories behind. Here and now everything was falling into place. All the elements she needed to express this “Labor of Love” were right in front of her eyes.

Back in her studio, she felt confident enough to do the unthinkable for a photographer: to rip and tear your final print apart. Through this unpredictable act, which was most carefully performed, every piece became unique and stronger. The final touch was to gently fill original sand — collected at the fields — into the gap, thereby reconnecting and completing her work. A true “Labor of Love”.

Marie Preaud, born in France, is recognized by the industry for her inspired and ground-breaking work, both photographing children as well as food. She has earned several awards including the ASMP-NY IMAGE 04. Marie studied photography in Paris at Spéosand at the International School of Photography in New York City, where she started her career assisting master photographers like Horst Hamann. Galleries such as the Light Gallery in New York, University of Southern Maine, The Camp in Aix en Provence and KunstRaum, Gallery Kasten, Palais Hirsch, and Museum im Pflegschloss in Germany have showcased her work. Her body of work named “Labor of Love“was published and showed at Palais Hirsch in Schwetzingen, Museum Pflegschloss in Schrobenhausen and at The Camp in Aix en Provence.

Since living in Frankfurt, Marie Preaud has published several books (Panorama, Christian, Fresh, and Suhrkamp Insel Verlag). Her latest book Provence is available since May 2019.

Marie Preaud is a Spéos Alumna 1993-1994 from the former 1-year Program in Dark Room Printing.

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