This man was good enough to spare me his time, but also to allow me a greater insight into his personal life.
I am acutely aware of how personal my interview is with these men – especially after they have only met me for a matter of minutes. I have to respect their honesty and trust in me and their willingness to open up to my questioning. This being the 7th shoot I am gaining a deeper understanding. As I have mentioned before – it is impossible to pigeon-hole or group them together as a specific ‘type’. As Alfred Kinsey discovered in his research – there is an extremely broad range of sexualities and each man I have interviewed so far places himself on a different point on the sliding scale of what constitutes heterosexual or homosexual.
Due to the limitations placed on me with these shoots – inasmuch that I must retain their anonymity & the men are not young Adonises. I am increasingly looking at de-constructing the male into his symbols and signifiers. Creating intriguing angles and viewpoints that force the viewer to question what they are regarding. Creating sculptural forms and sensual textures that hint at an intimacy that is almost too personal – removing any indication that these are studio based shoots to suggest stolen moments taken by lovers. I have been exploring Photoshop filters that mimic antique processes & in particular wet plate. I am very aware that every aesthetic choice must be justified and I am not sure this image style sits with the narrative or whether it clashes. Wet plate comes with connotations of Victorian early photography portrait studios, but since I am exploring a secretive hidden world of sexuality is it possible to tie this in to reference What The Butler Saw penny arcade machines – after all one of the early uses of photography was its ease at producing pornography. I am treading a fine line here between documenting these hidden lives while also portraying the inherent sexuality of the situation.
Kinsey, A. Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male, (Indiana University Press, 1948)