Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Doris von Drathen.
For five years, noted Paris-based portrait photographer Lillian Birnbaum documented a group of girls during their transition from childhood to young womanhood, examining their initial, innocent awakenings to their own feminine allure. This is a state that is particularly difficult to capture, according to essayist Doris van Drathen, for Birnbaum's photographs present that delicate space between the unconscious and the conscious; the passage from a world of dreams, chaos and fantasy into a world more and more contained by the forces of reality. A moment at the threshold between 'no longer' and 'not yet' in the life of a girl, just prior to her realizing that her feminine seductiveness will one day actually curb her freedom as an independent individual and she will begin to mirror her womanhood in how others view her.