What do we look at and what do we see - when we gaze at Gay Porn portraits
“We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves.”
“The focus of perception shifts from eyes, mouth, shoulders, hands – all of which are capable of such subtleties of expression that the personality expressed by them is manifold – it shifts from these to the
John Berger, Ways of Seeing
All the Photographs in this book are treated ready-mades taken originally from gay sex photo-blogs. By means of their expropriation from their “natural” customary habitat and context - Cyberspace - several issues wish to be raised about the distinction between Public Gay Male Nakedness, Nudity, Sex & Pornography; about the way we look at these images; about what we see when we look at them and about the nature of the act of looking-seeing more generally.
Some of these photos are selfies, some are clearly photos of unprofessional models (taken by who? on who’s initiative? for what purpose?) and some are photos of professional models.
Each ready-made image was subjected to a series of deliberately simple, technical and formalistic processes intended to carefully preserve their original form, composition and content:
They were significantly enlarged (the originals being very small, and of low quality, adequate solely for display on a computer screen;
Several post-processing filters were applied to the images in order to restore them to as near an original viewing quality as possible;
Finally, and most importantly, the heads of the portrayed person (or the main figure, in such photos which inhabit several) was cropped and turned into a separate portrait, thus creating two portraits out of every original image.