Photographer Katie Burdon talks about her shoot “Vienna 1900” which is loosely based around the sexual revolution in Vienna in the early 20th century, an art movement that is often not touched upon.
Photographer Katie Burdon / Model Elisabeth Shanahan / Stylist Becky Osmond / Set Designer Lania Ka / HMUA Lizzie Checkley Photographer’s Assistant Will Gething / Set Design Assistant Amanda Achungo
Here’s what Burdon told us about:
Katie: “Vienna 1900” is loosely based around the sexual revolution in Vienna in the early 20th century, an art movement that is often not touched upon. In this time the explicit and sexual work of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele started to become more popular, pornographic novels by Arthur Schnitzler were being written and sex was a main interest to many creatives. I found this movement in art interesting and inspiring, and chose to use an aspect of this within my new editorial. Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ was in fact based on Schnitzler’s ‘Dream Novel’, so I used Alice Hartford’s character within my editorial to build a sexual freeing narrative. Eyes Wide Shut looks at the sexual exploration of Bill Hartford, yet ignores the desires of Alice – which is an issue very present within modern society for all women. Using this art movement based around desire, alongside my personal feelings towards women’s sexual freedom and liberation I hoped to create an editorial that focused purely on the female’s sexual desires and tackles realism, feminism and sex.
I hoped to create an editorial that focused purely on the female’s sexual desires and tackles realism, feminism and sex.
I am a British fashion photographer currently in my second year of university where I study photography. I grew up in the South West of England which I hope is reflected in a lot of my work. I also make a lot of Indian food and am madly in love with the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood.
A lot of my work takes inspiration from painters such as Picasso, Klimt and Schiele. For this project I went to them as a base for research which led me to this exciting period in art that has influenced many modern depictions of sex today, such as Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. The representation of sex tends to ignore the female desire, so I chose to focus on this within Vienna 1900.
Elisabeth is a friend of mine who models for me frequently. The first time we met she actually stripped down naked for me to take photos for my ‘Naked’ project which explored the de-sexualisation of the naked body – which was quite the bonding experience! Her interest in the representation of women and sex allowed us to share the same vision for the editorial.
What she wishes people knew about her work:
Within my work I focus on issues that are personal to me, I have always wanted to create fashion imagery that challenges real issues.