Femme Fotale show "Girl's Imprint" examines fragility, intimacy through women's lens

Women have been admired for their work in front of the lens for centuries, but women behind the camera aren't as readily recognized.

Femme Fotale co-founder, Briana Noonan said the group's latest photography show, Girl's Imprint, will focus on changing that by uplifting eight female photographers who have been engaged with the group in one way or another since its inception. 

The show will be held at the Drive-Thru Gallery, a "non-traditional space" that Noonan said will serve as an interesting way to showcase the emerging artists.

Although Noonan said the show was broadly designed, it will center around the theme of relationships, which is also the subject of their new upcoming zine. 

"The subject matter is different in theories, but they all speak to each other," she said. "(The zine and show) are focused on relationships; not just romantic or family, but to yourself, to nature and to society."

Artistic depictions of relationships can often take dense and convoluted turns, but ASU drawing senior Azalea Rodriguez's photos will highlight the fragility of those relationships.

For Rodriguez, relationships are not limited to typical human expressions; she's found a way to display the feeling through an image of a dead bird, which she said serves as a metaphor for fragility. 

More intimate portraits also make up the backbone of Rodriguez's "Girl's Imprint" collection, and her perception of fragility is expressed just as boldly through her photo of a friend whose boyfriend recently passed away as it is in the dead bird.

Rodriguez said this is her first time being a part of an all-female group, and she recognizes the underrepresentation of female photographers even though she hasn't personally felt the impacts of that discrepancy yet.

"In art classes, a majority of the students are women, which is really interesting," she said. "But as you go along, you see women drop out of major roles in the arts. ... Women are really underrepresented in the arts and everything else. At this stage in my career, I haven’t found it hard. But it’s also hard to say how the arts are gonna change."

She said events like "Girl's Imprint" are important for developing a community of female artists who can support each other, which is critical to the overall empowerment of women in the arts.

"Support is a really big part of being an artist and making art," she said. "Motivation when it comes to things you’re exploring and the community are really important. People who don’t follow through when it comes to making art, I think it comes from not getting enough support or they can’t find motivation."

For photographer Sallie Scheufler, much of her motivation comes from the subjects themselves.

"My photos show the people I’m closest to, but in some ways when you look at them, you're getting less of a sense of who they are and more of a sense of who I am," she said.

Scheufler's latest body of work, some of which will be on display at "Girl's Imprint," describes who people are by the way they care for the space they occupy, she said.

For instance, Scheufler said her family's tendency to be nurturing but lack discipline is reflected through the image of them watering plants, but not trimming them. As a result, the plants may look forgotten, but remain beautiful.

Scheufler's said her work revolves around her family, her partner and her partner's family.

"I'm really interested in the concept of how close you get to people you choose to be with," she said. 

More than perhaps any other subjects she makes photos of her mother and younger sister, who was born the same year Scheufler received her first camera. She has taken photos of her sister ever since and said they reflect a tendency to be overprotective of her while simultaneously striving to be someone she can turn to. 

Her broader body of work, which includes video, examines her relationships with those she's closest to as well as herself as a woman. 

"I've been asking questions about things I don’t normally question, like how often I say sorry or how I hold my body in the world," she said. 

While the work of photographers like Rodriguez and Scheufler consistently examine relationships with oneself and others, women like Jordin O'Connor are interested in different concepts.

"In my photography I explore sexuality as a burden that we constantly navigate in an attempt to find fulfillment," she wrote in her artist statement. "I think it’s important to contemplate our own vulnerability and how we are choosing to present ourselves to the world."

Events like "Girl's Imprint" and groups like Femme Fotale will give women the platform for that presentation in a world that continues to underrepresent its female creatives.

Girl's Imprint will run from April 1 to April 15 at the Drive-Thru Gallery. The opening reception will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. on April 1, and the closing reception will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. on April 15. 

Related links:

ASU alumnae display third-wave feminism pieces

Third Thursdays to bring street-fair art to ASU Tempe campus


Reach the reporter at celina.jimenez@asu.edu or follow @lina_lauren on Twitter. 

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.