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Marie Kristiansen’s “Moo” is a visceral, dynamic, and thought-provoking fashion film, designed to advertise a rather unconventional type of bag and an even more unconventional type of beauty. Kristiansen, a photographer, director, and conceptual artist, shows us an older woman physically peeling off her skin to reveal her younger self. Here is our interview with this LA-based Norwegian artist.
The idea of physically peeling off your skin to transform into your younger self is so visceral. Where did the inspiration for “Moo” come from? What was your creative process?
I developed this with the client and an agency who had the original idea (of the skin peeling off). Our goal was to shed light on the fact that older women are looked upon as less interesting and less beautiful. After a certain age you are totally disregarded as a sexual being and not at all represented in the fashion and beauty world.
It seems as if your film is part of a wave of fashion films that deal with unconventional narratives and beauty. Can you elaborate a bit on this particular collaboration with fashion brand “MOO”?
I think it’s a great trend. I was lucky that MOO wanted to do an unconventional film with a purpose. I am not sure if this film will help them sell more bags, but we got to deliver a message that was important to us, and we are very happy it’s been getting a lot of attention.
The final image of the woman turning around in her negligee is so striking. Can you talk about the process that went into producing the film? What was it like working with the actors? How did you choose the women in the film?
The final image kind of sums up the meaning behind the film. The young lead actress is a professional dancer whom I have worked with a lot. I love working with dancers, because they have such a strong presence. Their bodies do a lot of the acting. I wanted the young version of our lead to feel strong, so that she didn’t come across as some kind of sexual object. She needed to be in charge of her body and own her sexuality, the way that mature women do. The older woman was great to work with. She had a good understanding of what we were trying to say, although I think she thought it was pretty strange when we made a replica of her skin and tore it off.