The (ongoing) series “Bodies that Matter” focus on Berlin´s non-binary community (LGBTQ+).
The title of the series comes from the homonym work by Judith Butler (american philosopher and gender theorist). Butler´s theory in this work is that gender is determined by a reiteration of norms. – Gender is not something one is, it is something one does, an act, or more precisely, a sequence of acts, a verb rather than a noun, a “doing” rather than a “being” -. Filtered by my own sensitivity, this theory appear to me as a celebration of the “openness to change”. A celebration of the freedom to decide who we are, the possibility to get out from the standard binary categories where everything must be black or white and unmodifiable. Deconstructing the “norm” to build our true self.
Berlin, with it´s long and strongly active LGBTQ+ history, is the incarnation of this sense of tolerance, freedom and openness to new possibilities. It´s something that one can strongly feel in the character of the city.
Coming from a much more conservative and bigot country (I moved to Berlin from Italy almost 5 years ago) this sense of tolerance and freedom is somehow even more evident and inspiring to me.
In March 2017 I start to reach out members of the LGBTQ+ community using social media to connect. The portraits where taken at (subjects) home or in a place chosen by them in the city. The pictures where taken with a large format 8×10 view camera on black and white film. Every portrait was limited to two frames. This limited number of possibilities, the stillness of the subject, the slowness of the process have contributed to charge every encounter (all this people here depicted where completely stranger until the portrait session) with a sense of emotional tension and consciousness: a moment of discovery.
“Bodies that Matter” is a celebration of the Freedom to Be.