What does it mean to be intimate with another human being? This project explores that question.
My recent work is about the emotional currents in intimate relationships. Having spent more than 40 years as a psychotherapist, I have been privileged to have many couples share their most difficult, and sometimes most touching, moments with me. From this, I know that intimate relationships are filled with the tension between connection and conflict. Often these currents run together, creating feelings of ambiguity and unease that do not fit our romanticized view of intimacy. Other times, love flows broad and smoothly, in moments of peace and passion that almost defy belief. In my artistic work, I step out of my former professional role to explore and portray these emotional currents without the demand that I provide practical help. It is part of my continuing inquiry into how the photographic medium can reflect for us parts of our experience that we may not always discern clearly.
For the series presented here – À deux – I worked with trained ballet dancers and asked them to choreograph their own interpretations of those emotional currents. Experienced in the expressiveness of the body, they took to the task with open hearts and a sense of exploration that led us away from traditional ballet poses. While we marvel at the beautiful bodies and athletic skill, we also feel the emotion – the longing, the struggle for dominance, pulling away, and the moments of easy connection. It is the ground of intimacy with which we are all familiar.