dark summer: an erotic image night giving visibility to female sexuality
Why should men have all the fun?
Lena C Emery
Dark Summer is the erotic image night conjured up by Lucy Moore and her partner in crime Vickie Biggs. Hosted at Claire de Rouen, Dark Summer is a celebration of female sexuality whereby friends and family are invited for an evening of drinks, gifts and titillating discussions, based on whatever books, magazines, and limited editions prints Lucy and Vickie select on the night. For their latest instalment, the girls shone a spotlight on the female gaze and what it means in contemporary society, pegged to a series of specially commissioned limited edition prints from London-based artist Maisie Cousins, and a specially curated booklist from filmmaker and illustrator Rei Nadal. Here we catch up with one half of the Dark Summer duo, Lucy Moore, to talk female sexuality and standing up for our rights as women.
Can you tell us a bit about the latest instalment of Dark Summer?
I'd been reading a lot about the female gaze and decided to examine this phrase more closely via a collection of books and prints made by women photographers. Vickie and I commissioned Maisie Cousins to make a set of limited edition prints for us, MARIEYAT sponsored the evening with pink knickers, while filmmaker and illustrator Rei Nadal also contributed book choices.
Why do you think it's so important to give visibility to female sexuality?
Why should men have all the fun?
What does the female gaze mean to you?
The reason I chose this theme for Dark Summer was to expose its inadequacy. The 'gaze' of women is complex and multifaceted, depending on each individual's personality, sexuality and aesthetic interests.
What is it about each photographer featured in the collection that appeals most to you?
All address the politics of photography in a clear and uncompromising way.
What is it you want to convey about women in general?
That it is not appropriate to place us into a single group and suggest that we all think and feel in the same way! I would also like to acknowledge the privileges that women living in liberal societies have, and to suggest that with this privilege comes responsibility - to further push for the rights of women.
Feminism has become part of the cultural conversation in a way it has never before, why do you think this is?
Feminism has already had many 'waves' - first wave feminism started in the 19th century. But because of digital communication we can now explore ideas with a new speed and fluidity. Politically we're living in a time when some of the actions of men appear to have led us down the wrong path. The women on the political scene are stealing the show - Angela Merkel is remarkable in her compassion and political acumen.
What does it mean to be a woman in 2017?
I don't think it's possible to generalise and speak for all women alive today! We should also be asking: 'what does it mean to be a man in 2017'? Or maybe we should be asking ourselves what we all share as humans - I went to a live interview that Cosey Fanni Tutti gave last night and she said apart from the obvious anatomical differences between her and her male interviewer, she didn't see why she should feel differently to him.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
My dreams are far too naughty to share.
The Dark Summer Booklist
1. Rie, by Lena C Emery, published by Kominek
2. Jens F, by Collier Schorr, published by SteidlMACK
3. Girl on Girl, by Charlotte Jansen, published by Laurence King
4. Modern Lovers, Bettina Rheims (chosen by Rei Nadal), published by Editions Braus
5. Faker Drinker Soldier Heiress by Clunie Reid, published by Book Works
Text Tish Weinstock