Welcome to this 13th episode of the new Dior Talks series ‘The Female Gaze’. With the term developed in response to the writings of feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey, this podcast series will explore how the work of the female photographers and creatives collaborating with Dior offers a radically new and progressive image of women.
In this episode, series host Charlotte Jansen, a British journalist and author, speaks with Maya Goded from her home in Mexico City. Goded is no ordinary arbiter of the photographic form, spending years, sometimes decades, working on individual research projects and painstakingly building visual documents of women and womanhood from every stratum of Mexican society. From her sensitive and inquiring photographs of women’s precarious existence, to her subtly moving portrait of Maria Grazia Chiuri, she offers a thoughtful discussion of her working processes and her socially conscious approach to contemporary life.
Maya Goded was born in Mexico City in 1967 and currently resides in the beautiful Coyoacán neighborhood which is also home to Frida Kahlo’s Blue House (La Casa Azul). She assisted other photographers before embarking on her solo career, and her first major project was a three-year endeavor photographing Afro-Mexicans, titled Black Earth. She has consistently focused on themes of female sexuality, gender violence, prostitution and the traditional role of motherhood assigned to women in Mexican society. In 2001, she held a major solo exhibition at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, titled Sex Workers 1995-2000, which was hailed for its penetrating, refreshingly nuanced portrayal of its subjects. An unstinting commitment to listening and sensitive observation is the hallmark of Goded’s work, which has allowed her to reveal so many layers of women’s lives without cliché or condescension. Goded has received numerous prestigious awards for her work, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the FotoPres La Caixa prize and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund.
Here, Charlotte Jansen speaks to Maya Goded about the breadth of her practice and how she views the world at this extraordinary time. They discuss how lockdown has forced each of us into a reckoning with ourselves and our lives and how this year’s eerie silence has led to millions of personal examinations of the potential for change. They reminisce on Goded’s intimate portrait of Maria Grazia Chiuri and the brief, bonding time they spent together. They also reflect on the striking images Goded took of the Dior Cruise 2019 collection. Through her multifaceted and lovingly empathetic practice, Goded is an ideal figure to consider the question, what does it take to change the way we see a woman?