POLISHED

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I want to photograph the uncanny secrets we hold dear but never expose. These precious secrets may be actions, persons or a place or a thing we adore that lies outside society’s usual boundaries, placing us out of civilization and into a kind of wilderness. Like the photographer who leaves home at night to shoot nude models or the artist who leaves her family at home while she styles men into women after hours.

POLISHED reveals the secret of what I desire to see in a model by becoming the model myself. I wish to reverse the traditional arrangement of photographer and model to exchange the vulnerability the female model experiences as she is exposed to the camera, to that of the photographer or artist. I hope to change the logic of power between male and female, photographer and model by, in this case, making the male photographer the object of the viewer’s gaze.

The removal of the genital area of the body from the image is what gives this project its name. This does many things like destroying the print surface, censoring the body and bringing to mind the battle for power over one’s body. My intention for this action was also to amplify the effect of the gaze on the body. By censoring the sexual identification of the body in this way, sexuality is revealed not repressed. I do this by rubbing the print in different ways. For example, on some images the marks make a new phallus amplifying sexuality, and others the gesture swipes away the eyes of the figure effacing the identity of the person.

I think this reveals the unfamiliar and secret world that Freud addresses in his work “The Uncanny”. I think the unfamiliar is associated with the reversal of the social logic of gender and the power relationship between photographer and model. The secret is also suggested here by the photographer changing his position to the front of the camera and taking on the appearance of the model.

The differences between these “objects” and situations are amplified, establishing a relationship that is stranger still. This is like the surreal dream that takes images from daily life and rearranges them during sleep providing a new perspective on reality. Sometimes the dreams even help solve problems. I would like to intentionally take these images and objects including the body, rearrange them to amplify the strangeness, expose the secret of desire and create a dream of my own that I can share.