RAW POWER: shameless uses Lene Marie Fossen's own tortured body as a canvas for grief, pain and longing in her series of self portraits - relevant both in the documentary self Portrait and in the Gatekeeper exhibition, both of which premiered January 17.
Gatekeeper (Exhibition and book)
Lene Marie Fossen
Shoot Gallery, Oslo
The photographer undresses in front of her own camera until there are only bones left. The skinny body's helplessness is heartbreaking. Despite a lifetime of anorexia, the poses Lene Marie Fossen (1986–2019) takes on are both graceful and timeless. The colour, the room, and the staging are like the old masters.
Lene Marie Fossen managed to give a face to the disease of anorexia and found a haven from the diagnosis through photography. The raw and exceptional power of her images placed her among today's few international photographic geniuses.
Her pictures touch on a disturbing point of view where the anxiety of life
crosses the limit of mortality.
The film has the ability to take me into her bitter existential struggle. From time to time I sense something bigger, a sacred feeling. Lene admits that she wanted to stop time, that she just wanted everything to be as it was. Gradually, she stopped eating, she says, but admits she was trapped in the disease's jail and did not achieve what she had envisioned.
Lene's open, vulnerable gaze has etched into my retina. It was good to spend time with her through the film and see joy in her face for recognition and her own photography. With her picturesque self-portraits, she not only gives a face to the refusal to eat, but also the slow, strong human suffering we can recognize.
It is important for the recognition and empathy that her appearance is similar to ours. That she has been - and is - one of us. In the film, she crosses an unspoken border by documenting her own bodily decay. Her power of action and her creative will break with the ideas and ideas we quickly form of others with this disease: Lene is a strong anorectic, but equally fully active performer. She cares for refugee children and photographs them and also older Greek widows. She occasionally escapes her own diagnosis and the awful repetition ...
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