MY BARE SELF
is a photographic-performative project that aims to destigmatize and re-appropriate 'the vulva' as a body part that has often been obscured and mystified, sexualized or objectified in Western culture. The series unveils what remains hidden in public and proposes an array of possible genital representations. The title "My Bare Self" refers to the paradox of not being able to see oneself’s most intimate body parts in a way others are able to observe (and judge) them: even though those photographed chose the setting of their photo shoot, the results inevitably mirror the photographer’s gaze. The fallibility of a neutral and unobjectified representation of the body is palpable, yet an imagery that exists outside of a cis-phallocentric porn and media industry is being offered.
The photos are taken from a nb Western perspective. In the context of this series, the term 'vulva' has been employed in a self-empowering way in order to collectively confront oppressionist and often misogynist body politics. However, it is important to note that 'the vulva' is often discursively linked both to the cis-female body and to femininity, thus excluding trans*experiences. Throughout the photo shoots, various self-chosen terms were mentioned and coined which more accurately describe the reality of individual body and gender realities outside of alleged fixed relationships between gender and genitalia.