Unfulfilled Desires is in part an homage to early-twentieth-century commercial and vernacular erotica,
the studio work of Yva Richard and Ernst Schertel. It follows in the much darker shadow of Joel-Peter
Witkin. And of course there is a sexual purpose here—we intend to arouse and titillate. But Unfulfilled
Desires also contemplates the nature of contemporary longing, the idea of fetish as Walter Benjamin
understood it, as a displacement of organic by inorganic desire, and the fate of the one-of-a-kind and
unique within a familiar and longer running narrative of mechanical reproduction, its modern rise and
more recent collapse.
As a series of erotic objects, these photographs tempt a deeper longing to consume and to connect
ourselves in an image world of absent people, events and places. They feed an unfulfilled desire which
grew in tandem with photography, and which has only increased with modern visual stimulation, with
ephemeral overabundance and easy digital consumption.
Perhaps, in truth, we are creating relics, potent visual and tactile objects, irreproducible handwork in
an era of digital photography. At a time when objects give way to disembodied abstracted images and
stored information, each photograph here is a unique, direct positive image on metal. Each object was
present with its subject at its creation. Each tintype promises something more than simply an image.
But these are only photographs. An erotic world once removed. Real and imagined sexuality. Arousing.