I explore gendered power dynamics as experienced with various men, most of whom I met through a Craigslist post seeking models. My plan was to place myself in an unquestioned position of power via the camera and the gaze in combination with their nudity and performative role. But this work is just as much about what happened before and after the shoots as it is about the images themselves. With the internet as mediator, replies predictably included dick pics and insulting questions. Friends and colleagues often asked if I was being safe. Turns out, going into the woods alone with a man remains unadvisable. Despite the strategic dominance I had devised, I was reminded of my place. I am psychologically looking inward in order to understand my own fraught relationship with femininity and womanhood. After requesting to shoot in the homes of these men, our relationships became increasingly complicated. They told me about romantic difficulties and aging parents. Some tried to hire me for shoots of their own design, one paid me because he wanted to. Each attempt to assert control was thwarted. Did they see me as a friend, a woman, a girl?
These interactions confirmed many problematic gender roles. I’ve answered hours of emails, offered price quotes and graciously accepted hyperbolic compliments. I am equally skeptical of my own motivations for entertaining these exchanges, and I’m not convinced those questions will yield honest answers. This project bargains for power, for a real and imagined place disentangled from our patriarchy.