The project J.E.A.L.O.U.S.Y is about the, at times, shameful feeling jealousy that we’ve all faced at a time in our lives. The idea behind this project is my wish to understand and disarm this feeling and to confront the different facets it arises from within me as a link in personal healing and development.
In this project I photograph my life partner in intimate situations with other women. Some he knows, some are strangers. For me to conjure a real feeling of jealousy, a big part of the photographing process consists of my life partner and the women creating an intimate sphere out of my reach. That said, we’re seeking to create beautiful sceneries in which the frames are put but the content unknown. The photographs that I have chosen, symbolize moments that touched me deeply and made the jealousy rage inside of me.
To express my belief that the feminine and masculine character traits are up for exploration and play, I had to catch people’s eyes in an extreme way. I decided to adapt my Tinder Profile to reach out to strangers resonating with my project and belief. I met up and manufactured a scene with a these strangers exploring new, and at times, untouched personal traits. Reportedly most of them felt as if the photo shoot took place under very vulnerable circumstances. This might be because it wasn’t possible for them to stay passive and pose for the camera. This time, there was a need for an inner exploration and a deeper, more vulnerable, communication between me and them. The space created between two strangers cooperating on a temporary or long-lasting rearrangement on one's inner self felt extremely intimate. I’m thankful for every participant letting me in their homes and intimate sphere
Being in contact with 6 men and 5 women in this project, I got a clear idea of how the feminine and masculine factors respectively have affected them in their life.
All the men participating in my project had been through a struggle or were currently struggling with the traditional masculine ideal. This ideal, regarding to Michael Kimmel, an American sociologist specializing in gender studies, involves never being feminine, conquering power and a lot of money. To never show your emotions and to constantly exhibit bravery and aggressiveness.
I also noticed, that all women participating in my project, felt a strong relief when letting go of vanity and vulnerability in their exploration of the masculine. I was captivated by their fascination towards some of the chosen masculine traits, and how they explored the clash and, at times, fuse with their current traits.
The source of inspiration behind Lifeconstruction originates from my experience with social media and how it changes the way we interact with people in real life. It is my impression that the trend of keeping up appearances on social media makes it harder for us to be open and mindfully present in our lives.
I wanted to explore how convincing I could make these pictures.
Inspired by human intimacy and driven by curiosity of manicured realities, I decided to explore the realm of depicting situations and choosing perspectives on reality. I created a baseline for every meeting; the purpose f the encounters was to create a deceivable picture of a situation in a relationship.
The pictures are real, and the situations may even contain a glimpse of something genuine.
The purpose of Lifeconstruction is to explore intimacy through photography and to create awareness of the ease of deceiving on social media. I want people to realize the lacking depth of these platforms - including the absence of true and valid insight in other people’s lives on there.
I creates numerous illusions, that’s for sure. But when that’s said, I definitely experienced what I would call genuine intimacy in this process. I constantly find myself reflecting on my meetings with my participants - the intimacy. How long does it takes to forge intimacy that’s authentic? and does it have to last to matter?
Throughout this project, I learned how surprisingly easy it is to paint a delusional picture of a life. It made me realize that we, in this digital age, are communicating more than ever - although we’re not spending as much time cultivating true meaningful relationship.s
Even though I get the convenience of electronic communication and see the value of entertainment on social media, I also see how it offers a near-constant temptation to pull away from the real-life interactions and relationships that are vital to our well-being.
Communicating through digital devices prevents us from the small things in human interaction such as reading someone’s gaze, their facial movements and hand gestures. The nonverbal world seems to be shrinking. And as i felt the hunger for it, I somehow got tangled up in this project.
Throughout these 13 unique meetings, I got to experience human interaction up close. I observed trembling lips, shivering bodies, analytical glances and nervous smiles. I felt sweaty palms and cautious caressing while carefully exchanging ideas and thoughts.
It felt like an experimental game, testing the possible heights we could reach, all while the camera was clicking. I clearly remember the constant dance of adapting to one another - both trying to reach a place so intimate and daunting, all while making sure that no one was in an anxious place.
Feeling so alive and breathless in new acquaintances and seeing the final product of all the meetings made me realize that we really need to remember what is truly real and what isn’t-
The observance, trembling, shaking, laughter - the interaction between me and the participants all felt very real to me. But the fact is, that I do not know any of the participants. At all. I don’t know anything about their past, future, dreams or present hurdles and struggles. All i know about them is how their homes are furnished and what they act like in an unfamiliar, tense situation. I also have an idea of how they want to be seen related to how they present themselves on their Tinder profile and how they interacted with me during our brief meeting.
Besides the question of validity, this project made me realize that there is something very genuine in many of us. The eagerness and ability to connect on a human level and create something together.
Surely, there is a core of passion for human connection and creation in most of us. Still these connections and creations can take various forms. Some might just find place for a brief moment where others are to be found for a lifetime.
But who are we to tell when something is true or not? Maneuvering on social media can be very difficult.
If we don’t remind ourselves that social media is a false projection of a life, we might end up finding ourselves lonely, isolated and thirsting for a deeper connection.