Fish woman is an intimate portrait of French-Algerian multidisciplinary artist, Maëlis Bekkouche. Maëlis incorporates fish skins into her unique creations, often using her body as the canvas.
Shot in La Rochelle and Île de Ré against the majesty of the Atlantic ocean we are given insight into discarded (and often under-valued) fish skins as the artist gives them new life and understanding. Maëlis embraces the properties of the fish, not only celebrating the wondrous creatures but revealing their mysterious qualities. In so doing, Fish Woman captures the hybrid creature and delves into the essence of one's identity both in society and in relation to our environment and specifically the bodies of water that surround us.
No animals were harmed in the making of this film. Fish skins are collected, recycled and cleaned by Maëlis Bekkouche herself with care and love. This was filmed by a family team comprised of a sibling directing duo; Saskia Scorselo and Pascal Scorselo, and their mother Nina Wiik as producer.
Director / Cinematographer Saskia Scorselo 'Maëlis and I met randomly while we were both trying to find a way to get to the airport amidst strikes in Paris. As soon as our eyes met we never stopped talking. As it turns out we were on the same flight and our visions aligned.
We were both at a point of questioning our respective identities, our hybrid selves. The film became a vessel for intimate exploration, distilled to the essence of the visceral skin on skin, through Maëlis’ original works. An almost subconscious but sensorial choreographed dance where we bounced off each other's instincts, a symbiosis of creativity.'
Maëlis Bekkouche 'I believe the environment where we grew up as children sculpts the person we are evolving into. It is with the ocean that I learned to be respectful, strong, fluid, humble - all the values that make up the puzzle of my life. I started recycling fish skins years ago as I was studying textile design in an applied art school in Paris. I needed techniques and solutions where I could find myself expressing my views about the oceans, the rivers and all bodies of waters, including those in humans.
It is through revaluing and recycling fish skins that I start a dialogue. I speak for the fish too, for their magic remains in me after I have casted their skins on mine.
For me, Saskia Scorselo is the eyes behind the canvas. She captured the whole process of transformation and revealed a soft and gentle vision that dances with my performance and my words to create an experimental immersive experience.'
Fish Woman - Maëlis Bekkouche - featuring her original work and words
www.maelisbekkouche.com / Instagram : @maelisbekkouche
Producer - Nina Wiik / Instagram : @wiki_nina17
Cinematographer - Saskia Scorselo / Instagram : @saskietta_cam
Editor - Pascal Scorselo / Instagram : @pascalscorselo
Original Score and Sound Design - Nicolas Zuber / Instagram : @nicolas.zuber