My work focuses on the complex intersections of submission, suffering and ecstasy in real fictional intimate encounters. The bonds I examine in my photographs have in common a private, continuous communication, both between the subjects and between them and me.
Argentinian poet, Jorge Luis Borges proposes that writer and reader are one in the same. “When we read something, we do so from our own context, history, geographical position, and as we read we 'rewrite' the story to tell our own”.
A strict Catholic upbringing instilled in me an early understanding of the connection among submission, suffering, and ecstasy (literally, a standing outside oneself, a transcendence).
My subjects practice the traditional Japanese art of Shibari, known in the West as rope bondage. With no interruption from me and just a simple documentary approach the ritual establishes a relationship between the dominant rigger and the submissive model who, relinquishing the burden of control, experiences the pain and the intensity of the moment, and finally experiences the euphoria of ecstasy.
Trust and mutual respect are essential to the process, and constant communication sets the rhythm and pace of the performance. As the observer over many months, I am implicated in this conversation and I bring here my own history to bear.
Submission Suffering Ecstasy