Photo Essay


A photo essay regarding trying on a sexual identity. Like a woman who gets ready for some sort of date or event, the psyche also tries on different costumes to present itself.

Certain adornments and regalia are symbolic place holders: the fur coat is carnal sexuality, not a man made material but more of a hide or second skin the woman wears to represent her animalistic id. The high heels are an elevated sense of self, dominant yet precarious, they bring her up though their realm is in the lower regions of her body, they govern her base (sexual impulses). Lingerie is either animal print or lacey with victorian echoes of femininity. With the animal print she has sublimated the animalistic impulses and worked them into her persona where sexual discharge is acquired without pretension or self consciousness. With the lacey lingerie she assumes the more delicate role where her graceful aesthetic supersedes. The female in front of the mirror is the psyche confronted with the persona she has created. When she views it straight on it is to size it up from different angles. The bathroom is the private place where she is confronted with herself and no others, where the business of her body is at hand.

The poses are her inner turmoil where these different traits come together in conflict or harmony. Again, when they are in front of a mirror, It is where her identity in life meets up with her identity in her mind. Hunched over the animal print fur she is wrestling the base sexual drive as if she were picking its carcass clean (consuming it and using it), sitting on the toilet she reaches out with a foot where she comes in contact with her reflected self, her face is obscured yet her reflective face is revealed (she has a more coherent idea of herself in her head then she does in her life), kneeling on the fur with heels she has a feeling of having overpowered it but her domination over it is tentative (she is kneeling and not standing on the heels which would have elevated her had she been standing). She straddles two rooms in the last image, where she is on the precipice between two realms, holding onto the door frame in resistance before she sallies forth or retreats.

Photos taken with a Polaroid Sun 660 Camera, Impossible Project Instant film PX 660 - Silver Shade Black & White Framed.

Collaboration between photographers:

Kirsten Palmer & Slowpoke.

You can see Slowpokes photos at:

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4 responses

  • ajtiM

    ajtiM (Deleted) said (25 Dec 2011):


  • Prashant Dubey

    Prashant Dubey gave props (27 Dec 2011):

    voted!! Amazing story, carefully worded with great sense of writing, I think one of the best read stories ever. The women sexuality portrayed so nicely in your story, is worth applause! And beautyfully supported with "your" photographs!

  • Grant Winter

    Grant Winter said (3 Jan 2012):

    Thought provoking exploration. Sensual images.

  • Roy M. Gunnels

    Roy M. Gunnels gave props (4 Apr 2012):

    Beautiful essay Kirsten, intellectual and complex. Voted

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