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Hester Scheurwater: All I Ever Wanted, (2015)

collectordaily review

   There's a long tradition of women photographers reacting to objectification in photography by getting their kit off.  Every degree show at every university there's someone showing their commitment that way.  Hester Scheurwater's 2015 book is pretty much along those dubious lines but rather than shoot in a studio or out on location with a 10x8 plate camera to establish academic credentials these are 24/7 semi-porno selfies done-at-home with a point and shoot.

   The poses are made spatially complex through the use of sheets of mirror and some must have demanded a fair bit of effort in contorting the body.  The first here, up against a mirror, suggests she was on 5 inch high heels bent backwards onto the floor facing the ceiling and reaching up to take the shot, without really being able to see what the framing looked like.  I expect she took a lot of shots to have a better chance to get the right one.  Her use of flash and the fact the mirror is dirty is well-judged. It's been a while since I did a dressing up shoot but I still know what that 'awkward pose repetition' feels like, it's hard work : ) but also satisfying in the challenge to get the picture looking right.

   Having had this personal trans blog for several years it still feels like I'm taking a risk and outing myself but I think she has gone much further. She has ended up exploring the issue of 'shamlessness',and probably went beyond any limit she once imagined existed - it's way beyond where most would be prepared to go (Cindy Sherman's repulsion-fest excepted).