GERALD FÖRSTER


Nocturnal



Made in the dark

 

Nocturnal is a collection of scenarios in which nuanced, alien territories

(Miami, Brooklyn and L.A among them) are invaded by sexual intimacy

at its most unabashed. The rapid mechanics of love-making blur the

protagonists beyond distinction, blurring also the distinction between

exhibitionism and voyeurism: “These things are happening all over the

place, but you very rarely stumble onto it.”

 

Förster, a German native, began his project as a response to what he

views as the taboo-based repression of American sexual culture, sending

out word to colleagues, friends and the online community of his desire

to find those willing “to be part of this open transgression.” “People

asked me: ‘Well, I like the idea, but what do you mean exactly?’ And so I

described it. One of my [photography] assistants and her boyfriend were

the first couple willing to be in these shots. And as soon as I have one or

two pictures to show others, they [all] understand right away what you’re

talking about, and then it became much easier to actually meet these

people.” The artist’s subjects, of wide-ranging ethnic backgrounds and

ages (18 to 65), were then brought together in various ways.

 

Sometimes Förster selected couples after meeting with them for a period of

weeks;occasionally, he met his subjects for the first time on set. Close run-ins

with the police were par for the course (“Sorry, this is a student project!”),

and old women on late-night dog walks needed to be finessed. “It wasn’t

necessarily the point to have [the lovers] really perform,” Förster explains.

“We had a Kama Sutra book, and we picked different positions. Some

actually enjoyed having sex, and some couldn’t quite get to the point.”

The carnally estranged beauty of Nocturnal is not its only trope. At the

heart of the photographs is a brash anxiety over America’s wrongheaded

impression of public sexuality; this is a society in which the most extreme

forms of violence tend to be more acceptable than the tamest forms of

nudity. “I’m trying to raise the question of your own personal relationship

to sexual repression,” says Förster. And if he didn’t have your attention at

the get-go, we’ll bet he does on the double take.

 

Donari Braxton

 

 



Edition: Nocturnal 2007-08

8 x 10 inch print
Edition of 30

20 x 25 inch print
Edition of 9

Diasec face mounted on non-glare plexi

 

48 x 60 inch print
Edition of 6
Diasec face mounted on non-glare plexi in wooden frame

 

Limited Edition book
Edition of 360 copies
20 x 25 cm print included (selection of 1 of 3 images)



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