I feel the best means for dissemination of the final(ish) body of work will be in several phases and methods.
The chance of having a large enough body of work for a photobook before the final submission is slim – so I shall keep expanding upon the project in the future and there may be the possibility of a book becoming the end result (although Jenny Lewis did broach the snobbery value of books in her symposium talk and Anna-Maria Pfab pointed out that they are rarely cost effective). In the meantime, I am considering a temporary exhibition and a more permanent web ‘archive’ of the project. The exhibition will enable me to trial several forms of display although to a limited audience; while the website has the chance to reach wider and can give the participants the option to see the final work without fear of being discovered.
It should be possible for me to capture a large enough selection to use different display methods without overlap. I should like to find a provocative space to hold the Installation – possibly an empty shop or Church / Chapel would be ideal. It was suggested to me in the past whether there was a chance to fly-post public toilets which would be intriguing but has the connotation of a dirty atmosphere which I feel would insult my participants. I suspect the ubiquitous white cube is the best option and this has the advantage of adding seriousness and gravitas to the theme.
The largest collection of images will be printed in various sizes and collaged together to create a Lomowall. With a specific tonal range and certain shots standing out as bright full stops to arrest the eye as it reads the whole. I shall leave gaps between that will contain words and phrases culled from the interviews with these men. Therefore you are forced to deal with the body of work as a massive whole before drawing in closer to view the intimate detail. As a counterpoint to this I should like to select certain images to print as slides which will then be boxed for the viewer to select and place upon a light-box and viewed with a loupe. A way to represent the intimacy these men are seeking. Another small selection will act as a slideshow to be projected upon a used bed sheet.
I intend to create a video with voice spectrum of their interviews overlaid with subtitles…this is the closest thing I can get to truly portraying their experiences without giving away their anonymity. This will be either shown on a TV screen or an additional projection. I have in mind to video parts of the shoot in such a way to question whether we are looking at something entirely innocent & this will be displayed through peep-holes with a red hue. Whether these will be either black boxes with actual holes to peep though onto a screen or possibly collaged together for another TV screen or projection.
I find the ‘zine’ format to be a little overused these days and it has the symbolism of being cheap & cheerful – this could dilute the seriousness of what I am trying to portray. However I may experiment with creating a risograph booklet with blue ink on yellow paper to try to recreate the propaganda history of the Xeroxed pamphlet / newsletter; several gay underground magazines started their lives in this aesthetic.
For the more permanent website ‘archive’ I cannot decide for the moment between two very differing styles. Whether to recreate the layout of the website that brought me these subjects complete with vital statistics – melding antique looking images with a modern phenomenon (see figure). Or whether to create a blank pixel grid with just the title of the project – then as the viewer moves over each tile it can reveal an image, piece of text or still from the voiceover which then can then click upon for a more detailed version. One has the connotation of modern seriousness while the other is more base and possibly truer to what the participants are seeking to achieve.
Lastly I wonder if I should already be exposing these shots to the scrutiny of Instagram – to build up an interest in the project…to test the platforms flagging algorithms when it comes to male nudity. Am I satisfied with the style of the shots I have to date? If I am then I could be drip feeding them out already, but if I choose to completely change the aesthetic in the next few weeks then I have jumped the gun…a slightly awkward dilemma that I need to resolve as soon as possible.