• Motel Film Noir

    Date posted: October 2, 2008 Author: jolanta
    My photographs are part of a tradition of erotic art that employs exaggeration, mystery, and the guilty pleasures of voyeurism. The photographs are about the forms employed in narrative-based erotic art as contrasted with erotica crafted to merely to display the explicit. The work concerns the art of presentation, the mystery of anticipation, and the universal human curiosity about sexuality.There are “fine art” references within these photographs, but there is no attempt to use the formal desensitizing techniques of “high” art photography to distract the viewer from the sexually-charged visual aspect of the narrative. Image

     Chas Ray Krider

    Image
    Chas Ray Krider, From Goodbye Kitty, 2006. Archival digital print, 26 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

    My photographs are part of a tradition of erotic art that employs exaggeration, mystery, and the guilty pleasures of voyeurism. The photographs are about the forms employed in narrative-based erotic art as contrasted with erotica crafted to merely to display the explicit. The work concerns the art of presentation, the mystery of anticipation, and the universal human curiosity about sexuality.

    There are “fine art” references within these photographs, but there is no attempt to use the formal desensitizing techniques of “high” art photography to distract the viewer from the sexually-charged visual aspect of the narrative. When I make references to other art forms, I put them to use as structuring techniques to enhance the game rather than have them take over the subject. For example, there are obvious references within my work to the camera angles and lighting in films such as Citizen Kane and M, and much of film noir, past and present, but I try to synthesize the mood from these sources rather than attempting to appropriate them. Within the work are references to the “low” art forms of 40s, 50s and 60s, illustrated pulp fiction, and crime magazines. These references exist more as background information than as foreground subject matter.

    The work mainly explores the narrative and cinematic possibilities within still photography. A major difference between my work as a photographer and the work of cinematographers is what the narrative is about and how it is told. My work is seen as stills rather than movement over time as a film. The image becomes a moment or a sequence of parts or pieces of a story rather than the entire story. The viewer is placed in a situation with no beginning and no end. The viewer has a dramatic intense encounter in an anonymous place with an unknown person. Though part of a group, each image is a discrete moment and a mini crescendo. In sexual terms the foreplay is compressed or focused down to key visually symbolic elements followed by another similar moment but no climax. The encounter is ritualized almost to the point of being a cliché and that too is part of the point, producing a sort of sex noir existential situation. The viewer, the model, and the unseen photographer each knowingly participate in this game of playing with the artifice of the genre.

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