Leigh Ledare represents a transition into the frame, and a new way of approaching the showgirl. Now, my examples will be about embodying or trying out the showgirl, and thus, the following examples are about what she symbolises, how she can be used, rather than, who is she?
Let’s start with two recent examples. Liz Cohen
and Nikki S Lee
put themselves into their photographs and literally embody the woman-as-object, but through that embodiment we have to deal with the concept of the woman-as-object having a brain. These approaches bring intelligence into the body.
Liz Cohen turns a Trabant into an El Camino, and herself from mechanic to bikini clad model posing on the car. Two kinds of body transformation.
Nikki S Lee goes native in particular social groups. The documented results show her passing as one of the gang. Amongst the groups she’s become part of where exotic dancers.
It’s worth pointing out, that these practices would not exist without a number of female photographers, whose work engages less with a Showgirlian impulse, but women-in-representation. So, look up, if you don’t already know: