At 32, a model at the top of her career she had worked for the best in fashion: Chanel Cosmetics, Sports Illustrated, Victoria’s Secret … So she has a dream career, Zoe Duchesne yet wishes to dissociate this mannequin image. An artist at heart, here’s a picture of a talking doll.

By Stéphanie Villeneuve

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
In addition to being a model, you’re also an artist. Where does your artistic side lie? Have you always been passionate about art?

Zoe Duchesne:
I was born an artist. But a dream I had as a young girl pushed me to become a model. It took me years to understand that modeling would become the tool that would allow me to pursue my artistic liberty.

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
How would you describe your art and your style as an artist?

Zoe Duchesne:
Art for me is a way to express myself. I’m not looking for certainty because if I did, I would not be free. I express my art with today’s thoughts I felt in my life as a human being in a model’s body. I give color to my past sorrows. Art allows me to express myself without the limitations of words.

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
What made you want to disassociate yourself from the concept of the “image”? What life events or situations occurred that made you realize one day that “I’ve had enough”?

Zoe Duchesne:
I’ve often felt I like I had enough, I’ve long felt like I had enough. The problem is that I am so attached to the comfort I found in anything and anywhere. Even in an image. It took me some time to go and find something else. But the fact is that I’m full of ambitions, and those ambitions asked me not only to get out of my comfort zone but to thrown myself in the vastness of the unknown. And all this time it took me a bulldozer to get out of this supposed zone of comfort. I stopped everything for 3 years and given up on my security to explore this chance to figure out what I wanted to do. I did not know that I wanted to be an actress and be on the path that I am on today. I couldn’t be just in front of the camera; I had to tell my story as well from behind the scenes.

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
How did the draft of Poupée came about?

Zoe Duchesne:
Poupée was created from the moments of loneliness that accompanied the job of modeling. I worked so hard to live with loneliness. And in order to create, we need solitude. This is the spirit of contradiction in which I live. I think I got so fed up after waiting for someone to be able to create my world that I finally decided to do it myself.
I never knew what the outcome would bring before making a doll; I make up and dress with what inspires me at the moment. When I glance in the mirror, I see myself as a doll. Poupée is my vehicle of expression. I set my camera on the tripod and it begins rolling. I share with it a theme but it is in the action of improvisation that really gives it meaning. We can see that in every video, the expression of the basic idea is being tracked.

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
What would you change by presenting to the public your project?

Zoe Duchesne:
Their surprise when they see what they found themselves facing. We are all mirrors and Doll is indeed a reflection of the society in which we live in.

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
You started modeling again after taking a break from it. The business has not yet changed, it is still superficial. Why again?

Zoe Duchesne:
The world does not change. It is me that changes. It’s my relationship to the business that has changed. Before I treated my profession as if it was a relationship. My happiness depended on who was going to pick me. I had it all wrong. I had to break up with it as it is done in love. To end up with myself and the thought of that brought me the love that I seeked. That’s how the Poupée was born. I got tired of waiting to be chosen in order to be happy.

Photography: Nelson Simoneau
Art Direction: Sylvain Blais
Fashion Editor: Fritz

Poupée

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
How would you describe your art and you as an artist?

Zoe Duchesne:
Art is a way for me to express myself. I’m not looking for a fight issue a truth because if I had a truth, I would not be free. I express my art. Today the observations I’ve made of my life as a human being in a body modeling. I give color to my past sorrows. Art allows me to express myself without the limitation of words.

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
Where did the project of Poupée start?

Zoe Duchesne:
Poupée was born of modeling and moments of loneliness that accompanies it. I worked so hard to live with loneliness. And to create, we need solitude. This is the spirit of contradiction in which I live. I think I’m got so fed up after waiting constemment someone to be able to create my world that I finally did it myself. Before making a doll I never knew what the outcome was.

I make up. I dress with what inspires me at the moment. I look in the mirror. I’m Poupée. Poupée is my vehicle of expression. I set my camera on the tripod. And it is running. I share with it a theme but it is in the action of improvisation that really born meaning. We can see in every video tracking the expression of the basic idea.

Stéphanie Villeneuve:
You want to present your show in Montreal, and the Subsequently, worldwide. What is the purpose of this exhibition?

Zoe Duchesne:
For the first time in my life my head and my body are in harmony. I use this body with compassion. I share in all its fragility Doll. I want to allow the observer to mix her story with mine, so there was more division.
Being an image of compassion rather than an image of consumption. Poupée is just a labor of love. This is a project that is lived and not saying.

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