An interview with LNI

LNI is a creative artist working through writing, directing and photography.

She is indeed an eclectic and talented multidisciplinary artist.

Instagram LNI @miss.lni

Web: Eroticintrospecion

Nude Model Photography

When we came through your website we have been intrigued from the very first moment, the title: A junction between Erotica and introspection, could you explain more about your project?

 

It’s a work in progress, started a few months ago. Hence I’ll try to be as laconic and precise as possible. To begin with, my project embraces the idea of erotica and intelligence being folded into one another. In detail, I focus my efforts in employing different mediums (soft or hardcore photos, erotic video-art & texts) to bridging the gap between sex and introspection. I firmly believe that deep fulfilment and joy are brought into our lives only by understanding oneself. Thus sex and exercising wisdom are naturally connected. For instance, I’m exploring what happens when an erotic photo is juxtaposing with a passage of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality.

It seems very odd for sure, but I want to know what it does for viewers. Sex is always presented as tasteless and vulgar, yet I know that it is passionate, beautiful and empowering.

Could philosophy elevate our poor porn culture into something that could cultivate our excitements? That is the purpose of this project · to contribute to better pornography that is associated with human community values such as affection, empathy, kindness or intelligence. One that treats people – and mainly women-  as subjects of pleasure and not just objects of desire. It’s important to realise that a change in the discourse on our sexuality is essential granted that the dominant sexual identity of our culture is heterosexual, white and predominantly male-oriented. 

As a cinemaphile, what are your references? Has Erotica vanished in a secondary role in the last years? Is it because of porn or is it because of us being less interested in probing and exploring our senses and emotions?

 

I’m a real movie buff, but I cannot think of the last time a sex scene in a recent mainstream film had me feeling electrified. Undeniably, I found Gaspard Noe’s Love a rare beautiful example of modern erotica, a melange of sexual expression and traditional narrative. 

Then, there are many films that I find tremendously erotic, but they don’t belong in the erotic film genre at all, such as Eric Rohmer’s Claire’s Knee, that I first saw when I was 16. I was so amazed that I got goosebumps when it finished (!).

Now, if I had to choose, Nagisa Oshima is my most significant influence. He stated that “I can not separate sexual and political remarks into two separate problems. These are similar problems “. That phrase entirely pins down our concern on why there’s no more erotic cinema: our values aren’t in the right place. The era of Trump, fascism’s return and lousy porn flooding our browser is apparent manifestations of our cultural collapse. Why should erotic art be an exception? We should resist and persist. 

Difference between porn and erotica….

 

The erotica arouses us mostly on an emotional level. It depicts erotic material but is not only for sexual stimulation.

For that reason, even my choice of calling this project “A junction between erotica and introspection” is a deliberate superfluous repetition – to claim that the obvious is not obvious to everyone.

But Roland Barthes defines the distinction very nicely in its Camera Lucida: “The erotic photograph, on the contrary (and this is its very condition), does not make the sexual organs into a central object; it may very well not show them at all; it takes the spectator outside its frame, and it is there that I animate this photograph and that it animates me.” 

….And about nude art.

 

I perceive nude art as a softcore heritage of the ancient Greek art and renaissance.

Female or masculine nude figures trying to express various emotions is not something new. That’s why I feel so puzzled when the same person who’s visiting Louvre museum, which is full of erotica and uncovered genitals, is reporting my nude photos on Instagram.

I guess one person’s erotica is another one’s pornography. So, getting rid of the fickleness of the terms porn and erotic and know their further historical contextualization that would allow us to interpret those artworks, is really important.

You are a feminist dealing with a branch of art that is predominantly populated by men, why do you think that women haven’t yet approached this genre?

 

Probably for the same reason, I thought of approaching this genre myself as a creator only about four years ago: the myth of sexual pleasure is narrated by men, and the female perspective is wholly neglected. I think that most women have looked at mainstream porn and they didn’t like it since woman’s pleasure is disregarded and female adult performers are slut-shamed (the same thing goes for erotic models, believe me).

And of course, there’s still this double standard that claims that the nonsexual woman is the reliable, thus the “good” woman or the “mother.” But it is changing since many feminist’s adult filmmakers, and erotic artists are subverting this genre.

Erotica’s changing context is related to women’s emancipation that historically speaking, as a collective movement, its starting point was really during the last third of the eighteenth century. So, yes, whether you like it or not, feminism has just started.

What is your vision about erotica, which ideas, feelings or sensations you want to title with your art?

 

To put it in one sentence, I’m aspiring to create an erotic space where emotional and sexual arousal is happening at the same time. I want to inspire people to study their sexuality, to have the desire to be exposed both to the pleasure of knowledge and to the knowledge of pleasure. Except for the latter, it must be educative somehow.

Inviting people to take more seriously our perception about pleasure, nudity, and porn, so as children and young adults aren’t just exposed to one version sexuality that teaches them wrong values.

Some feminist see the nude as an exploitation of women, do you agree with this view?

 

Personally, I always felt most offended by the poor aesthetics of bad erotic films than by the fact that they’re representing only the male gaze to pleasure (now what is a “masculine gaze” is another scam, but that’s another discussion).

Those anti-pornography feminists see phallic sexuality contaminated by power as primarily violent or perverse (for some of them even the act of penetration is inherent violence against women). If this is true, then that means that women’s sexuality is essentially pure, unable to express violence, uncontaminated by power and thus “normal.”

As far as I know, women are not beings outside of history. Therefore power is diffused and embodied in every one of their relationships. So, the first thing that troubles me with these feminists is that they do not work at all against the dominant ideas of a whole and “normal” sexuality. Moreover, for many years, anti-pornography feminists have used the hard-core/soft-core distinction to label men’s sexuality as pornographic (thus pervert yet powerful) and women’s as erotic (therefore pure yet victimised). So, erotic is right and made for women, while porn is wrong and made for men. Well, that’s the second problem I have with these feminists: I think women have equally the right to fuck as violently, despotically and nastily as men and that hard-core/soft-core distinction, in the end, only disempowers female sexuality.

To sum up, feminism is a human rights movement demanding equality – in that case, balance to representing erotic pleasure. So, as feminism is not against men, the women who’re participating in the erotic art are contributing to equal representation of the erotic pleasure. 

What is your way to be an active feminist?

 I’m a free electron, so I could never be engaged. Although I think women’s march was a great occasion to express all those issues and I’m thrilled it was so successful, I believe street protests don’t work anymore.

Working hard brings solutions and alternatives. I’m trying to contribute with my presence as a political person and my artwork (making my erotic videos, writing on blogs, preparing my erotic magazine and working on my web series were sexual workers are the main subject).

Do you have a dialogue with your fans?

 

Okay, now I feel like a rock star! Lol! Yes, I do have some followers who’re contributing to my page every month, and I’m very grateful they’re all very conscious that a change is necessary. Seriously!

I was expecting mostly men who want just to masturbate with my photos and videos – which is also welcome – but you know it’s not only about sexual arousal as I previously said.

So, yes it’s important to get feedback as it’s tough to create your perspective on something that its history has just started to be written: the history of the female gaze on erotica. I only wish the women who follow will double, but that will come only with hard work from my side (we’re far more difficult creatures to impress, I now get that clearly! Hahaha!)

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