Danielle photographs her lovers with a camera in her vagina

Posted on February 17, 2019 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS MAGAZINE


It is a photographic process "erotic, tender, unpredictable, vulnerable." It is, "at once familiar and strange." "It's disconcerting and at times confusing - it's something I love. It's both fun and loaded with intimacy." Danielle Lessnau merged her body with a camera to create Extimité, a series of portraits of her lovers made from the point of view of her vagina. "I built eight pinhole cameras from old photo cartridges and installed them with an electric shutter that can be controlled by my hand," he explains to P3.

"Photographically", a pinhole, without lens or viewfinder, is "the perfect instrument". Each shot by the 33-year-old photographer, based in Brooklyn, New York, lasted between one and two minutes. "By using the vagina to hold the camera I allowed my own breathing to become an invisible actor," he says.

The natural movement of the body destabilizes the capture and gives rise to a blurring effect on the image that is particularly useful in preserving the identity of the portrayed men Danielle describes as "lovers with whom she shared unique stories" and who, his proposal of collaboration with "love and greed." "It's a collaborative process that implies that I become vulnerable, that gives me control," describes the young woman, who studied at the famous photography school at the International Center of Photography in New York.

Danielle Lessnau did not create Extimité to convey a specific message. Rather, he wants the viewer to give it personal meaning. "I wanted to materialize what I feel, my visions and excitations, when I am in a private space with another person," he emphasizes. "When I look at someone, my whole body reacts. [While capturing the images] we both wanted and were desired, we were both powerful and vulnerable." I wanted to explore these roles, this distance and proximity, and play with this web of looks. " Here the chamber is an instrument, but also a symbol "of the penetration of his body by lovers and light."

Recent group exhibitions include Our Souls to Keep at Field Projects, NYC; Figure Fuggenti at Acta International, Rome; Divina Comedia at XXXI Festival International of Sexual Diversity at Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City; Notas al Futuro at Galerié Breve, Mexico City; and Hidden Narratives at Rita K. Hillman Gallery, New York. In 2017 she was awarded an honorable mention in the annual juried competition at Baxter Street Gallery, New York. Lessnau lives and works in Brooklyn.


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