This feature via Dazed Digital
As the female gaze comes to the fore, artists are beginning to examine and explore the possibilities of what exists, what it is to be a woman looking at the world outside of her self. For American artist Dani Lessnau, the gaze opened the door into uncharted realms in search of the things that a camera can capture that the human eye might otherwise miss.
For her series of work titled extimité, Lessnau makes tiny pinhole cameras that she places in her vagina in order to take portraits of her lovers during private moments. Here, Lessnau has invented a new form of picture taking, one in which she uses her entire body to “see” – to sense, feel, and capture the moment of extremely powerful intimacy. Each photograph is made with an exposure lasting between a minute and two and a half minutes, an extremely long time for both Lessnau and her subjects (all of which gave consent) to hold still in order to create the photograph.
After recovering from a protracted illness during her late teens and early 20s, in 2017, Lessnau began to use photography as a form of healing and a way to get in touch with her body. Looking at the ways in which vulnerability can be empowering, both for herself and her subjects, her work explores the female body as a vessel for creation, literally, while simultaneously examining the extraordinary space that exists between us when we are alone, together, and naked.
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