Becoming the observer

These photos are an inquiry into my role as photographer, friend, daughter or stranger to the persons portrayed. What happens in the moment between us and what is communicated through the image to the unknown observer.

Do these images stare back at the viewer, do they return the gaze, questioning our intentions, desires and beliefs?

Similar to changing a cameras lense and settings do our minds control our perception. By observing we do not innocently witness the truth of the world, we interpret patterns and symbols of reference that we decipher and create meaning from based on all of our subjective knowledge and experiences.

We do not see what is, we see what we think it is we see.

We are taught to to read bodies after their abilities, colours and shapes. We learn to approach, treat, desire, fear and respect different bodies based on codes of appearance and performance.

By seeing we place value or judgement on the object. Could gazing ever be consentual if viewing is de facto an act of objectification? Each time we view an object we are violating it by reducing it to our own minds limited understanding of anything beyond our own consciousness.

How can we become aware of, and thus alter, our modes of observation?