Selected texts

Christian Caujolle, Photo Phnom Penh 5-years catalogue, 2013 :
"A philosopher—that is her background and her passion—she interrogates herself. On the nature of Being, her identity, borders, appearance and its meaning, what we ourselves feel. Her images, gentle and slightly disquieting enter a territory that she refuses to name definitively, but which is usually called gender. Is sexual identity determined biologi- cally, or can it be a choice? Are we men or women from the beginning, or do we become one or the other willfully or by reason of context? Serious, fundamental questions, approached without dramatics, with tender- ness. The personages, her close friends, encounters in quiet, if not calm, situations, remain mysterious. It is impossible to say with certainty who they are, what they are thinking, feeling, living. This photog- raphy is never descriptive, but it imposes the charm of its mystery. It is both light and profound, attractive and discomfiting, because the images remain as mysterious as the questions that animate them. We look at them with pleasure. Resolutely unique, it is different and obvious since we see it inspired by the necessity of making complex questions visible, not in order to resolve them, but to truly express them."

Arnaud Claass, Le Château d'Eau (Toulouse), 2011 (extrait) :
"Dorothée Smith is unreserved, her Luminist yet dark approach to the visible portrays the uncertainty of sexual roles. The matter of gender, questioned in philosophy for more than 20 years, is very significant in the intellectual development of her work. Some say that her pictures show characteristics of Renaissance painting while others see a Romantic influence in her works.
Is this because some of her works show a gravity peculiar to Florentine portrait painting or is it because of the sometimes crepuscular nature of her background landscapes. Maybe it is because of the sensitive intensity of German painters such as Caspar David Friedrich ?
Her work is embedded deep within its time. At times, her world is torn by violence. Very soft faces, lost eyes, bodies shown in the warm intimacy of mirages, mild ice floes sublimated into breaths and lifeless horizons... all are polarized, like magnetic dawns, by the way in which gender division is challenged in this modern world. Here, it is more about metamorphoses than about metaphors. This re-evaluation, which is often noticeable in facial appearances, seems to find climatic expression among nature scenes where water, ice and steam play upon their mutability. It is literally as if freezing and melting points had become conceptual actors in the now unsteady masculine-feminine dichotomy.
These pictures allow inconsistent states of substance to blend with utopian melancholy. She has flawless expectations when she gives a poetic and formal shape to the intense and arduous alteration process.[...]"
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Christian Caujolle, Photo Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 2011 :
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Claire Guillot, in Le Monde, juillet 2012
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Dominique Baqué, Trans, in Art Press, Mars 2012
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Magali Jauffret, in L'humanité, février 2012
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Wilfrid Estève, in Magazine du Jeu de Paume, février 2012
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