|Emma Gruner, photographer of herself taken by herself taken in the dim light of morning.|
Photographer Emma Gruner on why taking nude photographs of herself doesn’t need to be about feminism or body positivity.
Sheathed in a short black dress with plunging neckline, the French woman reclining on my screen says: “Maybe I give you a lap dance,” before exploding with mirth. This is not my Wednesday night treat but a Skype interview with the artist responsible for an eye-catching series of nude self-portraits.
33-year-old Emma Gruner was announced last week as one of 10 winners of the Graduate Photographers Award 2016, supported by RBB Economics and presented by Magnum at Photo London. Funny, with a penchant for swearing, she speaks with the halting flutter of a Strasbourg accent from her bed in Lewisham about capturing her tits-and-teeth in “The American Series”.
What’s the point of the blue shots she’s been capturing since 2013? “To reveal,” she says. “I'm only showing myself. I'm just picking things that interest me and putting it all together.” Her work poses a question by revealing almost everything, but she won’t give an answer. There isn’t one. Like Duchamp’s urinal, the function is tucked behind its being.
Gruner was inspired by wondering about the difference between the online fleshy famous, like the Instagrams of American strippers, and their human selves. She says: “You can be a webcam model from your bedroom, you can be an Instagram fucking celebrity but actually who are you?” She gropes her way through the digitally risqué’s mentality by donning their roles. Her own Instagrams are often deleted for their mere suggestiveness.
To embrace digital she treats her website like a performance space. Clicking on one image can take you down a rabbit hole of others. She has bigger ideas. “I wish my site was just advertising banners,” she says. “Where you click on one and you see another one and you're like: ‘Oh I didn't want to see that.’”
by Thomas Cox
May 26, 2016
|Emma Gruner, photographer in her bedroom provoking photo of self by self.|