Caroline May

Zoom / sexy pose / click. Zoom / mucho attitude / click. Caroline May lives and works in Athens. Her photography focuses on men, on the unconscious re-enactment of a stereotypical heterosexual identity before shooting. In her new series The Ramble, she follows a gay hustler in a cruising area in Central Park, NY. Work of hers has been exhibited in the 1st Thessaloniki Biennale, Royal Academy of fine Arts London and Center of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.

-What urged you to become active in photography?

Photography was something I was good at and then one thing led to another. The urge is to be creative and do something interesting.

-Has your gaze been influenced by feminist theories and flourishing Gender Studies of the last decades?
Coming from a Cultural Studies background, the writings of Laura Mulvey, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes and Judith Butler have been instrumental in my practice.

-What kind of a relationship do you develop with the photographed male object?

Our relationship begins and ends at the photo session. For some of the models it is simply a money transaction; others want to be part of the project for which I am grateful to them. During the shooting there is always tension, as we are both performers in a different capacity.

-You shot in the Peloponnese at River Party 2010. How was it like?

Arcadia is beautiful and has a certain aura. It is contradictory to find the scene of a rave
party in a bucolic and serene landscape.

-Nowadays fashion tends to deconstruct the stereotypical male/female look. Do you see that as a depolarization of gender-display?

I am not sure if fashion is so concerned with making a statement rather than reaching a wider audience and therefore achieving bigger sales. But if it makes people think about these issues, then it’ s a good thing.

-You said that people usually portray a ‘performed’ heterosexual strereotypical behaviour when photographed. Why do you chose men in particular?
I am interested in photographing men because it is interesting to see machismo deconstructed and broken down!

Text: Joanna Papazoglou | Photo: Caroline May | Link: