Psychoanalyst by day, photographer by the way
कदापि कोऽपि न पश्यति स्म जीवनं जीवतु
Drive, Desire and the Phallus: I portray psychoanalytical themes and map their manifestation in the present age. The dialectic of drive vs desire/power vs force. Force is fleeting and propulsive, whilst power is constant. Power is akin to drive and force relates more closely to desire. Desire swallows drive, but drive cannot be digested. The phallus is a symbol of power, embodied by a number of surrogates: an erect penis, a finger, a cigar, a tall building, a tree, a ferocious animal, a person of authority or anything that is a stand-in for the Other, encouraging/curbing/regulating the desire/enjoyment of the other. The Other might be God, the head of state/government, the media, the headteacher or the internet, before which/whom the dialectic is played out. The phallus is the signifier of power while a penis is a signifier for the male gender; the former sometimes encapsulates the latter. The phallus is akin to drive while a penis is akin to desire. When they are brought together, the union is sublime, and what results is absolute but finite power and force. When they are separate, it becomes clear that anyone—women in particular—can have the phallus even though we do not have penises, or that a man can have a penis, but no phallus or power. I consistently depict the split between the two; the locus around which the phallus reaches its apogee in orgasm and when it finally looses its power to become (again) a mere object.
People: The people who have modelled for me have been members of my family, my friends and a few of their friends. Some have posed in both portraits and erotic sets.
Portraiture (1986–present): An ongoing pleasure since school days! My work illustrates the perilous edge of where vanity is sublated into shame. In between this Scylla and Charybdis what the ‘They’ (Das man) call “The self” finds its ever shifting locus. I prefer traditional headshots in which the models engage directly with the viewer. Eye contact is crucial as a portrait functions both as a mirror and very much like an icon in Orthodox Christian churches—reflecting the one viewing/bringing the viewer into the spatial presence of something greater.
Erotic Photography (1992–1995): Shot during the time of my doctoral studies. This work is more daring, flagrantly burlesque, real and uncensored. I cast the models in uncanny Kafka-esque scenes, portraits or tableaux whose surroundings are surreal and morally ambiguous. Similar to the portraits, the models direct their stare into the camera in a performative way, catching the viewer in their gaze and inviting them to watch, touch and be touched from within the very space. If the models’ faces are not part of the composition, their body parts in their respective poses generate the gaze that welcomes/confronts the viewer.
Buildings and Landscapes: A new-found joy that traverses continents and fantasies! I have tended to embrace architecture and nature to articulate the subject matter of object relations. I follow my intuition as to how a picture of a place or object will turn out. For a place or thing, it will be a space if I get a sense of welcoming, creativity and change. It will be an edge if I get a sense of restriction, resistance or limitation. I am also passionate about capturing obscure aspects of buildings and outdoor scenes, and bringing the viewer into an appreciation of how these details may differently focus their vision on alternative (and Archimedean) points of movement.
Nora Geist was born in Udine, Italy and moved to London, England when she was five. She is the youngest child of a military strategist who has lived in various countries. She graduated from the H-Farm International school in Treviso, Italy where she defiantly came out as a lesbian at the age of 16. She received her first camera as a gift at the age of 17 (Pentax ME Super), and she began taking snapshots of friends and family, who sat for creative portraits and tableaux. After earning her first degree in psychology from the University of Paris 8, Nora enrolled in the Associazione Italiana di Psicoanalisi qualify as a psychoanalyst. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in psychoanalysis from the New School for Social Research in New York City where she subsequently practiced as a psychoanalyst before returning to Europe. Nora's early work (1986–1995) consisted of portraits and erotic scenes where the models exuberantly inhabit a thriving “erotisphere”. Her later compositions (1996—present) shifted to feature more traditional portraits (featuring many of the same models from her earlier work), as well as landscapes, cityscapes, photographic collages and still lifes. She has retired from practicing clinical psychoanalysis and is a consultant in behavioural psychotherapy. She has been partnered to Alessandra for twenty-five years and have recently married. They have two children at university.
OK Harris Gallery 1997
The Alternative Museum 1999
Exit Art 2001
Piccadilly Gallery 2004
Seattle Erotic Art Show 2010
Rochester (New York, USA) Erotic Art Festival 2018
Erotic & Bizarre Art Film Festival 2018
Tag! Queer Shorts Festival 2019
The Lift-Off Sessions 2019
Planet 9 Film & Art Festival 2019
Kino London Film Festival 2020
Triple SSS (Sensual, Sexual, Smut Erotic Art Exhibit) 2020
Motion for Pictures 2020
New Dreams International Film Festival 2020
Gorst Underground! 2020
6ix Screams International Film Festival 2020 (Best Experimental)
AltFF Alternative Film Festival 2020
Couch Film Festival 2020
Roxie Roz Burlesque 2021
OGA (S)EXHIBITIONS 2020/2021
New York Nil Gallery 2021
Strandlines LGBTQ+ History Month—February 2021 (www.strandlines.london)
Filmoptico International Art Visual and Film Festival 2021
Gravedigger Dave's Anthology Festival 2021
Caligari. Festival Internacional de Cine de Terror 2021
Horror Lust Film Festival 2021
Hallucinea Film Festival 2021
Guttercast Film Festival 2021
Fear in the Fens Film Festival 2021
Serbest International Film Festival 2021
Indie Movies Spark Film Festival 2021
Pure Magic International Film Festival 2021
Horror Unleashed Film Festival 2021
Bleedingham Horror Film Festival 2021
Bad Film Fest 2021
Horror Unleashed Film Festival 2022
Bizarrya Short Film Festival 2023
Eros and Thanatos Film Festival 2023
Lift-Off Filmmaker Sessions — hosted by Lift-Off Global Network 2023
EUPHORIA Short Film Festival 2023
18 USC section 2257
All nude models were 18 years of age or older at the time of the shoot. Neither said photos nor the words used to describe them are meant to represent the models’ actual conduct, statements, identities or personalities. Any similarity between the characters portrayed by the models and actual individuals living or dead is purely coincidental.
All photographs displayed on this website in the galleries marked with advisory warnings for containing adult content are exempt from 18 USC Section 2257 and 28 CFR Part 75 because said visual depictions were created prior to 3 July 1995.