Women I Met | 1/19
PREFACE TO "WOMEN I MET"
No, I never met “women.” Actually, I am on guard when I hear that word. I met and photographed Jagna, Beverley, Marleen, Caroline, Leslie, Evgenia, Andrea, Lena, Amy, Jane, Mariany, Ayumu, Ayame, Le, Nicole, Kamila, Kamilla, Sophia, Candela, Karine, Ruza, Alice, Marta, Oxana, Ema, Laura, Malinda, Hadley, Nevia, Elizabeth, Svenja, Danielle, Emilie, Mari, Sarah, Candice, Ewa, Natacha, Zonja, Annalisa, Maria, Ashley, Diana, Sasha, Katerina, Ingi, Yanina, Zdenka, Eva, Reanna, Irena, Greta, Severine, Martina, Leilani, Veronika, Antonia, Miriam, Elena, Nadia, Tara, Jade, Viola, Autumn, Chrystèle, Monika, Valeska, Magali, Nalani, Olga, Cheyenne, Frederique, Natalia, Gina, Marianna, Sabina, Kadriana, Yara, Melisande, Elan, Virginie, Melanie, Heather, Jasmine, Lucy, Haruka, Inga, Jenny, Jennifer, Julia, Veronica, Karina, Dominique, Kijel, Larissa, Veronika, Lina, Jamie, not “women.”
I could say the same about “men” and other mental fabrications, but the human beings photographed in this portfolio made it clearer, more than anyone else, that generalizations often turn into prejudices and traps. Not one, out of the hundreds I photographed, showed the slightest resemblance in character, personality, spirit to another. I spent years paying attention to physical details as well, and I have never observed repetition in skin, eyes, nose, lips, teeth, hair, ears, neck, shoulders, hips, legs, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, feet, toes, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, knuckles, just to name a few physical parts. I never found analogies in posture, style, laugh, smile, tears, bliss, blush, pleasure, excitement, frenzy, folly, scorn, vigor, selfishness, letting go. Fighting against an entire industry, I also never accepted the term “models.” I saw generalizations as the incubator of a sinister demagogic poison. I saw it coming during the mid 90's, and the current pixelation and cloning of physical features confirms the disrespect I sensed, one that reveals the vulgarity of the current neo-materialistic philosophy.
On the contrary, the word “woman” opens up the universe of the human condition. Among my friends, some are looking into the Big Bang hypothesis. I found it and experienced it in each woman I met. I met also troubled souls and innately egotistic ones. That is Big Bang too. It is often hard to differentiate charme from mental instability and love from manipulation, but even the most sterile heart inspires my desire to know. This is because each woman I met and photographed was a unique opportunity to learn about the most difficult quest for our condition: the human interaction. This enigma is precisely what photography is meant to capture. This is why I am a photographer. Photography, if authentic, reveals as much of the photographer as of the photographed. Photography tests my own vulnerabilities and egotism. The camera is neither a filter nor a shield; it actually unites two volitions, through their reflected photons, at the rhythm of the shutter release.
Short or lasting one, this authentic relationship is primordial. This is why when I photograph I might be persistent, but I never aim to control. Interaction, of any kind and form, must be mutual. Wanting to be photographed is the opening of the first layer. Then, no doubt, no prejudice resists the resultant bloom.
When my daughter was born, I thought "She is a unique creature, a human being." My gratitude goes to all I met and photographed.