By Sivan Askayo
In my previous post, Women Photographing Intimacy, I mentioned how inspired I was by two NY based photographers, Elinor Carucci and Cynthia Cortes. Call it coincidence or just good timing, but while interviewing them, I was also taking a 10-week Narrative Portrait class at ICP with the great photographer Amy Arbus.
As I hadn’t taken pictures of myself before (besides self reflections while traveling) I decided to “indulge” and dive into the world of self portraiture myself. I got a new tripod, a free-wave shutter release and told my teacher that my narrative portrait subject for the next 10 weeks is going to be me. But easier said than done, I waited for the inspiration to dawn on me and to provide me with ideas.
Intimacy and Photography
….Through the history of the medium, photographers have investigated both personal and more universal social and cultural ideas about intimate relationships. With time, the physical and sexual intimacy spread through the visual media and became more and more apparent.
Even though the sexual intimacy is mostly common in Fashion photography, many other photographic portrayals of intimacy exist, as contemporary photographers continue to explore the inﬂuential relationships in their day-to-day lives…
All Images are Courtesy of the Artist
Maybe it was the great light that comes through my bathroom window every morning and illuminates my apartment; maybe it was because I am a swimmer and I find “water” very calming, relaxing and mind clearing, but I started shooting Things I do in my Bathroom as my project for my narrative portrait class.
I didn’t really have an agenda and some of the ideas and the images I wanted to shoot in the first place, felt too “staged” for me. If I didn’t end up shooting them after all, I guess they were not relevant.
Through the process, I kept reminding myself of Carucci’s answer to my request to complete the sentence “A self portrait for me is….“. Carucci said: “… where you exist…even in the little details…something that represents yourself, of who you are…a matter of definition…” I also kept thinking about Cortes’s bold and daring images and how natural yet significantly sexual they are.
So I started shooting.