“I don’t want to represent the masculinity portrayed in your project.” Erwan told me bluntly. “I enjoyed our meeting. It was nice, but I don’t see myself in it anymore. Sorry.”
I was a little struck by this revelation. “Ok.” I murmured.
It begs the question, “Do I really represent a particular type of masculinity? If so, which type?”
I don’t claim the project is all inclusive. As people are subjects in front of my camera, there must be a kind of pre-selection to some degree. Many people ask me “How do you choose the models?” I told them that mostly it’s simply the first impression. There are no fixed criteria. It’s just a feeling. If someone seems nice, I would like to photograph him and get to know him a little bit.
I find it hard to find words to describe the boys that I have photographed. Therefore to pinpoint the type of masculinity represented is equally difficult. The funny thing is that before this moment, the concept of masculinity had never occurred to me.
But, I think he has a point. In a way, I am representing something unconsciously. The photographs contain a trace of myself who can be subjective.
Representation doesn’t necessarily have to be explicitly intended. Viewers can form their perception despite what you do. It’s an unwritten rule that if you show something to the public eye, you are deemed to be judged and evaluated.
I’ve learned to deal with judgement much better now. I still can’t stay always cool and calm, but it’s ok, I tell myself.