Voyeurism, Mirrors and Lenses
"The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual place, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognised feeling".
For us a photographic erotic image is made to be looked at. Erica revels in the modelling and I enjoy crafting the picture, what that does make us? The very making of a photograph deems it available to be shared, not to be shut away, but posted on the site for visitors to see. It is the photograph, an unproblematic reflection of reality and an unmediated copy of the world. Some say it's a language, acquiring meaning through cultural and social conventions. Others like us simply adore being photographed, or making photographs.
The pleasure of the gaze can be related to fantasies, and voyeurism and exhibitionism are rarely far away. Erotic photography imposes a demand to look. To gaze at unguardedness, illicit observation of someone else's intimate acts - observed is key to the observer's thrill.
The use of a camera exposes it to a potentially unlimited number of others. In today's computer technology, internet websites, and virtual zones, and the apparatus needed to view them enhance the sense of intrusiveness still further: in the words of one collector, "You can collect photography only if you are a Peeping Tom".
Voyeurism derives from French verb (to see) with the -eur suffix that translates as -er in English. A literal translation would then be "seer" or "observer". Voyeurism as an active form is associated with masculinity, exhibitionism with passivity and femininity - woman as image, man as bearer of the look. It is important in understanding the gendered implications of the pleasure, the jouissance, the bliss of seers. Part of the attraction of photographs derives from their capacity to allow the seer to disavow distinctions between reality and representation from the safe position of the hidden voyeur.
That delicious ambiguity of a slowly rushing orgasmic pleasure and an ungenital pleasure at once of looking is experienced by men and women. The erotic photograph does not make the sexual organs into a central object; it may very well not show them at all; it takes the spectator outside its frame, and it is there that they animate the photograph.
Is Erica in her pictures displayed as ontologically fetishistic - "feminize the fetish"? Some may suggest that the female fetish is a perversion stolen from men. Can women be perverts in their own right? Our path is different. Rather than considering if either photographer or model are deviants, we make palpable the conceptual framework of femininity itself, a reduplcation a pull of feminized fetish into a performance between photographer and model; imposing an intimacy between lens and pose, and through erotic clothing and props - mirrors reflecting - endless repetition, femininity as always already stolen.
Much erotic photography and has sought to create the illusion that its subjects' nudity and/or sexual abandon are being captured unawares. This is far from the truth as far as we're concerned. Indeed, if every photograph on the Little Red Jacket site was created with this intension, it would say very little about our objective of displaying the images we like to make. Yes, we're delighted we can entertain and amuse so many people. Never forget that we enjoy the photography committed to the web through the site, and when done by consenting adults who can dispute our intentions and pleasure.
It is an omnivisual world brought about by virtual realms. The computer gives access to the entire global information and by judging our guestbook entries many seers are women. Should we be concerned with this , or simply accept the fact that homoeroticism is no more secret than every other sexual pleasure today.