Visiting Italy allows one to connect with the roots of our civilization and this photo session carries on from last semester’s project entitled ‘5am’. I wanted to revisit the issue of polygamy and the number three (threesome) occurs here as well. The prostrate figure, lying on the floor, curled in fetal position sparks many questions – is this a man or a woman? Just what has happened here?
The second picture from this series is more mysterious – three men are visible but one is naked and lying on the floor. The situation is unclear, like many relationships between people if you had to describe things in detail.
The setting for these images is an important element in the composition. Here the tall French windows and marble terrazzo floor create an attractive room, the sunlight filtering through the net curtains evokes memories of Renaissance frescos or Caravaggio’s paintings. This sequence of pictures employs a tripod and tries to record the shifting dynamics in a polyamorous relationship.
I have been working on a series of hotel room photographs for a number of years now. As a gay man, there are times when I do not feel safe and cannot be myself. In many countries homosexuality remains illegal and/or there is a lack of tolerance but the hotel room acts as a sanctuary – it creates another world and engenders a safe atmosphere where I have a sense of acceptance and permission to be myself. Hotels have a long history as places of transgression, where you can express yourself and experiment. The feeling of anonymity and privacy gives us sanction to try new things.
The series Hotel contains more than ten images with a homosexual theme. Gay men are often unable to openly express their feelings in many countries (even in Europe) so the hotel room can be a safe place to explore sexuality and intimacy. The locked door and the tag stating ‘Please do not disturb’affords you the (temporary) freedom to be yourself. Every hotel room has a different atmosphere which can shape our emotions. How we express our inner selves or create a space to play may depend on the standard of the hotel. So how do we behave in a 5-star hotel compared to a motel or a room rented per hour? How does the environment of the room make us feel free?