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Isabelle Wenzel
Photography Isabelle Wenzel

This photographer defies gravity with these awkward images

Using her legs, a camera and its self-timer, Isabelle Wenzel challenges her body in a series of dynamic self-portraits

Isabelle Wenzel’s got a thing for a good pair of pins – her own, for a matter of fact. So much so that she’s spent the past five years photographing them in all their glory. Her images, deliberately faceless, often show her legs taking on a life of their own. “I don’t like to show faces, they irritate me since they stand imminently for a specific personality,” she explains. “I do like to look at a body that in its headlessness becomes its own working organism.”

Obsessed from a young age by the possibility to overcome gravity, Wenzel says, ”For me, legs are connected with power and movement. This is, of cause, a contradiction, since I’m using a medium that freezes everything and turns them into objects.” Made up of a combination of quick thinking and strength, she also explains that there is very little post-production involved – mostly just playing with colour and exposure. “My main challenge is that my archive is constantly growing, I like to play around and find new ways of how to look at it to get surprising combinations.”

Originally setting up the self-portraits in her studio in Amsterdam, the 28-year-old photographer has recently moved her work into the great outdoors. Forgoing a camera remote for a timer, she revels in the time pressure between hitting the button and contorting herself into one of her many, mind-bending positions. “I’m performing an act of trial and error, connected with a lot of improvisation and giving up control. I like to work on my own so communication is instant and the process becomes quicker,” she explains, adding “I’m like a photoholic, that is my gift and perdition at the same time.”

See more of Wenzel’s work here. Her work will be on display at Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair, taking place between 18-20 September, 2015