One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


Dress as Girl
by Eddie Lanieri

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Project statement:

My growing up as a woman in a traditional Italian family and culture inspires my work as an artist. In Italian culture gender roles are very defined and this notion of gender separation is emphasized in Italian lexicon, but it is also a culture that celebrates an understanding of balancing dualities or opposites. With my work, I use photography to document the idea of a 3rd space. Using my camera as an "anthropological" tool to investigate how cultural ideas express dualities, the photograph becomes a witness to a space that pushes up against the expected. I am interested in that moment when something is no longer defined as it was and not yet defined as it will be. Currently, I am investigating members of society who transcend and renegotiate that idea of the third space in gender roles as they pertain to women.

Dress as Girl is a documentation of drag queens that perform in New Orleans. In my images of gender variance and drag culture I try to deconstruct the theater of gender impersonation by questioning the implications of gender perception and roles. By combining the theater spotlight, in the intimate surroundings I am trying to encourage the conversation of what does being female mean; is it just an outward drama that we play out in front of other members of society or is it something other? In many cases the only time it is social acceptable for a man to wear makeup, jewelry and dresses when they are making objects of themselves for entertainment purposes. These entertainers are taking the most absurd forms of female and combing raunch for entertainment, which is very similar to the stripper culture. The title comes from the rumor that the word DRAG was written into the corners of Shakespeare's plays as an acronym for when men were to play female roles or dress as girl.


Bio and contact:

Eddie Lanieri, originally from Long Island, NY, received her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and her MFA from Florida State. She lived in Italy for several years, which has had a large impact on the art that she creates. For the last 6 years, she has called New Orleans home. She moved to New Orleans after Katrina to teach and make art. Currently she teaches at Xavier University. New Orleans has left a permanent mark on both her life and art making.


Eddie Lanieri is an New Orleans, LA, based photographer.
To view more of her work, please visit her website:
You can also contact Eddie by e-mail: