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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a fine art photographer. My research comprises of photographic practice and writing and is concerned with the relationship between the terms 'photograph' and 'queer.' In a nutshell, my research explores ways to make possible a logic of thinking outside of the binary.

My PhD project The Queering of Photography: A Generative Encounter (2014-19) develops a materially rooted queer methodology and presents a critique of binary rooted systems of thinking that exist within dominant discourse of photography.

By turning to the technological and material conditions underpinning the photograph’s existence, my research explores a queering ambition in the form of a photographic agency. This ontological stance enables a discursive mode of investigating core queer concerns, for example questions of difference in the context of assumed closed systems. Developing from a photographic portrait practice that explores the notion of gender as nonconforming, my research has through experimentations using a large format camera generated the photographic works Looking Out, Looking In; Turn; Figural, Figurative; Skin; and Frame.​

Entangling traditional photographic disciplines with contemporary feminist concerns, my research contributes to current photography practice and theory, Queer theory, New Materialism and Posthuman philosophy.



Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising PhD and MRes students in the following areas: feminist photographic practices and theories, queer methodologies, queer photographic practices and theories, queer activism and representation, New Materialism, Posthumanism, photography and ontology, non-dialectical contemporary philosophy, process-led photographic research. 


Scholarly biography

Solo exhibitions

  • 2019 The Queering of Photography, Dyson Gallery, London
  • 2016 Looking Out, Looking In, Landskrona Foto Festival, Landskrona, Sweden
  • 2016 Looking Out, Looking In, Photography and the Archive Research Centre, London, UK
  • 2015 Looking Out, Looking In, MOCA London, London, UK
  • 2015 The White Gaze, Växjö Konsthall, Växjö, Sweden
  • 2013 The Boy & The Twins, Gothenburg Biennale, Gallery Panncentralen, Mariestad, Sweden
  • 2011 The Boy & The Twins, Fotogalleriet format, Malmö, Sweden
  • 2011 The Boy & The Twins, Smålands museum, Växjö, Sweden


Selected group exhibitions

  • 2020 With Monochrome Eyes, Borough Road Gallary, London
  • 2019 The Urgency of the Arts, FutureLab, Shanghai
  • 2019 SHOW RCA, Royal College of Art, London
  • 2019 Entanglement, The Opera, Royal College of Art, London
  • 2018 Tbilisi Night of Photography, Fabrika, Tbilisi, Georgia
  • 2018 FLIGHT MODE, Assembly Point, London
  • 2018 Flow & Flux, Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Art, London
  • 2017 Daybreak , Safehouse 1 & 2, London
  • 2017 Sight Unseen, Dyson Gallery, London
  • 2014 8 +1 konstnärer, Smålands museum, Kulturparken Småland, Växjö, Sweden
  • 2012 TRANSportrait, Minshar Gallery, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel
  • 2010 Photo-ID, Hereford Photography Festival, Hereford, UK
  • 2009 Shadow of a Doubt, Galerie Michel Jourmiac, Paris, France
  • 2009 Photo ID, The Forum, Norwich, UK
  • 2009 SHOW RCA 2009, Royal College of Art, London, UK
  • 2009 Surfacing, 12 Star Gallery, European Commission Office, London.
  • 2008 The Terry O'Neill Award 2008, Fulham Palace, London, UK
  • 2008 Moment, Riga Art Space, Riga, Latvia
  • 2008 NICE08, The Novas Contemporary Urban Centre, Liverpool, UK
  • 2008 The Other, International Talent Support, Trieste, Italy
  • 2007 Fellow Travellers, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Manchester



  • 2020 Åsa Johannesson and Clair Le Couteur, ‘Nonbinary Difference: Dionysus, Arianna, and the Fictive Arts of Museum Photography’ in Joshua G. Adair and Amy K. Levin (eds.), Museums, Sexuality, and Gender Activism, New York and London: Routledge
  • 2019 Åsa Johannesson, The Queering of Photography: A Generative Encounter, PhD Thesis, Royal College of Art, London
  • 2010 Åsa Johannesson The Boy & The Twins. Self-published photobook with support of The Welcome Trust and Self Publish Be Happy, 2010


Selected conference papers

  • 2019 ‘The Queering of Photography,’ Diversifying the Portrait: Image and Identity, University of Oxford, Oxford, 17 May 2019
  • 2018 ‘Looking Out, Looking In’, A Carnival of Entanglement, Practice Research Symposium, Royal College of Art, London, 25 Jan 2018
  • 2018 ‘Turn’, Atmosphere, Practice Research Symposium, University of Surrey, Guildford, Jan, 2018
  • 2016 ‘The Gendering of the Photographic, Writing Photographs, Symposium, London College of Communication. London, UK, 1 Jun 2016
  • 2015 ‘Queer Passing and Queer Aesthetics’, Disrupting Visibility: The Politics of Passing, Conference, Goldsmiths College, London, UK,12 Jun 2015
  • 2015 ‘Failed Queerness’, The Subjectivity and Feminisms Research, Symposium, Chelsea College of Art. London, UK, 12 February 2015

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Royal College of Art


Master, Royal College of Art


Bachelor, University of Westminster


External positions

Associate Lecturer in Photography, London College of Communication UAL

2020 → …

Lecturer in Photography, University of Gothenburg

2019 → …

Lecturer in Fine Art & Photography , Royal College of Art


Teaching Fellow in Fine Art Media, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London


Lecturer in Digital Photography, London South Bank University


Lecturer in Photography, University of Westminster


Research Assistant, Royal College of Art



  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • NE Print media
  • TR Photography
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • BC Logic
  • BH Aesthetics

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Research Output

Nonbinary Difference: Dionysus, Arianna, and the Fictive Arts of Museum Photography

Johannesson, A. & Le Couteur, C., 2019, (Accepted/In press) Gender, Sexuality, and the Museum: Activism, Unruliness, and Alterity. Levin, A. & Adair, J. (eds.). Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter