Dani Lessnau Employs The Female Gaze Through A Pinhole Camera Placed in Her Vagina

The female gaze is thriving in visual culture, with female photographers increasingly challenging the male-constructed vantages that have defined womanhood throughout history. Now, one trailblazing artist is taking the concept even further, using the most private part of her body to capture intimate moments that would otherwise go undocumented.

, Dani Lessnau Employs The Female Gaze Through A Pinhole Camera Placed in Her Vagina, Liminul Magazine , Dani Lessnau Employs The Female Gaze Through A Pinhole Camera Placed in Her Vagina, Liminul Magazine

New York-based artist Dani Lessnau, 32, took a series of photos of her lovers from inside her vagina using tiny handmade pinhole cameras and 4×5 film. The process to produce each photo in the series, called extimité, was “very elementary and imperfect” but effective.
, Dani Lessnau Employs The Female Gaze Through A Pinhole Camera Placed in Her Vagina, Liminul Magazine

For the series, Lessnau makes tiny pinhole cameras that she places in her vagina in order to take portraits of her lovers during private moments. Here, Lessnau invented a new form of image capture, one in which she uses her entire body to “see” – sensorial and corporeal documentation of sense, feeling, and of capturing the moment of profound intimacy. , Dani Lessnau Employs The Female Gaze Through A Pinhole Camera Placed in Her Vagina, Liminul Magazine , Dani Lessnau Employs The Female Gaze Through A Pinhole Camera Placed in Her Vagina, Liminul Magazine

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.


, Dani Lessnau Employs The Female Gaze Through A Pinhole Camera Placed in Her Vagina, Liminul Magazine

Cody is the Editor in Chief and senior contributor at liminul.

He is a photography aficionado, fashion enthusiast, avid Lana Del Rey fan, and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.

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