Leigh Ledare Interview: Photos of Inappropriate Desires


“A projection of inappropriate desire.” Photographer Leigh Ledare talks about his erotic photographs of his mother and him, as well as some of his other works on relationships between men and women – and their audience.

An interview with American photographer Leigh Ledare (b.1976) who shot to fame after being included in an exhibition “Ça Me Touche” curated by Nan Goldin in the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival 2009. In this interview Ledare explains how he uses photography and film to “map social relationships – map individual psychological relationships as well as relationships to media”. Ledare explains that he pushes the private realm of desire into the public realm.

It all began when Ledare’s mother started projecting a very sexualized persona, in a “take it or leave it” kind of way. If Ledare wanted to continue having a relationship with her, it had to be in a non-judgmental way, where he could try to understand his mother, and how she was challenging a certain expectation of how she should behave. Ledare describes the project as his mothers “projection of inappropriate desire” onto him. The photographs are meant to raise questions about values and cultural blind spots. The camera in this context works as a tool for both getting closer, and distancing yourself, examining women, relationships, love and desire.

Leigh Ledare was interviewed by Jonas Hjort and was recorded at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Edited by: Jonas Hjort
Camera: Klaus Elmer
Produced by: Jonas Hjort and Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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