Tumuult, la revue
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Lena GuddBio
Antonin Pons BraleyBio

Wild und Frei

“Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species.”

Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Somewhere in a rugged desert, La Lobia resurrects the wild spirit of life by assembling the wolf bones she has collected. According to the legend, a laughing woman appears from time to time at the horizon, turning in an instant back into a running wolf. Inbetween narration and documentation, Lena Gudd’s research explores female instinctual nature on the traces of an inner wild woman. Somewhere in the North, Gudd shares the daily chores of women with a distinct wildish self for long periods at a time, returning to their homes over the course of years. In this journey across inner and outer landscapes, photography plays a vital role as a process on the ground as well as a philosophy in engaging with a female pristine energy.

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Fermont, Au Féminin

Wild und Frei series, Gudd 2013 – 16

Wild Woman seems to lurk in the shadow of the mountain and the snow-covered pine tree, to wander on the northern barren ground, living in the raven’s gaze. She seems to hide in the relief of solitude, to cross the wide expanse of the inner lands, appearing in a fragile moment of doubt. She seems to be part of the vastness of the Subarctic landscape that Carole daily roams with her pack of sled dogs, connected by a visceral bond. Sharing their longing for freedom and wildness, she is drawn in by the force of nature, becoming part of the horizonless white desert herself. Simultaneously, Wild Woman seems to emerge in the shamanistic rituals that Tanja builds upon to release her horses inner wild and free self. In her quest for “the wellbeing of the whole”, she draws a tenuous path into the manifold layers of their minds. Somewhere deep inside, Wild Woman’s infinite landscape is peopled with burned woods and untamed animals, treeless mires and mythical creatures.

Fermont, Au Féminin
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Wild und Frei series, Gudd 2013 – 16

On Wild Woman’s traces, Lena Gudd uses her camera as a compass to constantly maneuver inbetween visible and invisible, inner and outer spheres. “Her photography is made up of the unforeseen, of sparseness and tension: it takes time to brook distances, to enter into the intimacy of a ‘subject’ and to appreciate a sensitive way of seeing”, writes Michaël Houlette, curator of Gudd’s solo-exhibition La trace invisible des gens, introducing to the dedicated catalogue. Gudd “guides us into the most elusive locales of human relationships: distributions of the body, intensities of gesture, or opacities of the gaze that call on a peculiar thought, the silence of the uncanny.” Alongside her photographic research, Gudd further draws upon found objects, collages and installations to enrich the singular body of work constituting Wild und Frei.

Wild und Frei continues in early 2017 with field work in the Subarctic, returning to share the live of Carole and her dogs.