I explore the subtle alternate realities that emerge from the "real" reality out there. The video form allows me to further explore, and bring into the open, human boundary seeking and discomforts that occur when people interact.
From our email exchange "..The man-woman interaction, clearly stated ahead of time, frankly makes me wonder.. Where do you want to take this? On the other hand, I like the way you photograph and I usually like taking part in creative processes.."
The dialog that often takes place ahead of the event itself is part of the emotional build up towards the meeting. It sets up the stage for unease and discovery - and hopefully for a good work of video art.
As a continuation of my photography in private places, I am now working on a Video Art project - basically entering private places, with permission, to discuss boundaries and introduce mutual discomfort. In previous posts I have referred to this project as "In Private Rooms". I have always been interested in the power play between "male-photographer" (or Artist in general) and "female-subject" - with its infamous impetus, "The Male Gaze". Although I am a result of my upbringing in a male dominant culture, I do try to be an active participant in the feminist just cause - that is to stop being objects (or only objects) for male consumers.
In this project I am looking for a new balance between natural desire and pleasure and female freedom - interfering with the expected power balance in a "photo-shoot".One of the methods is to transfer control to the subject.
This project is on going and has become the backbone of a parallel video art project I am working on. The essence of it is the exploration of the cumbersome, sometimes funny and always somewhat uncomfortable, negotiations that take place in private dialogs. These dialogs take place with women I am curious about during which they are handed control of the camera. I find this transition of "power" in both direction very interesting.
By entering a private space of someone else one creates a totally new space that is outside of the day to day existence of both. As a male photographer, I find it extremely interesting to tip the balance of power by giving up control of the shutter.
It is so exciting to look back at work one did in the past, and take a fresh look. As being there at the time, I can recall my own state of mind when it was taken, and also remember what was on her mind. All this, however, has nothing to do with what the image may say to you, the viewer, if at all. Hopefully, it will say something.
This is an image created some months ago, during the "Fresh Paint" event of 2013. Sometimes I think I go to these Art places mainly for the people - the "material" of my own art making.
I discover my subjects in their "anonymous" state - yet I get a personal kick when they are rediscovered later, in other circumstances, and I have the opportunity to show them what they helped me create.
The stark studio, assigned to me as part of my Advanced Studies in The School of Art, Hamidrasha, is a "place". A strange place that is furthest from the notion of "familiar" as can be.
Getting to know a "place" intimately, to transform it to a magical place, is something I feel I can do with the camera.
I am looking forward to the good things will be born in this new place.
Time has an unavoidable presence in photography. So has "truth" (or lack of). One may take these for granted or embrace them. I think it is so much more interesting to peel the surface of what you see and confront what you find. Even when you don't know how to put in in words. As I continue to think about my relationship with the reality of places, I look for potential inclusions in my "Real Estate" project. So - Is this just a location, or "A Location"? Time will tell.
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© Jonathan Levy / Jay L
Recent PostsAuthorized Penetration (in Progress) 2 Authorized Penetration (in progress) In Private Rooms (in progress) In Private Rooms (in Progress) Studio, 2009 (self next to Dina Levy's paintings) Studio, 2009 More from "Real Estate" More from the "White Cube" Studio Untitled Location: Saturday, 19th of October 2013, 5:56pm to 6:00pm