With this commission for Portrait of Monash: the ties that bind, I wanted to present a range of different perspectives from people living in the city of Monash who identify as being part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The work 'Being Ourselves' consists of a series of black and white double-exposure portrait photographs and a two-channel video installation.
I think of the double exposure technique as an in-camera collage effect that I use to create multiple perspectives within the one image, as a way of presenting the subject in a nuanced and layered way, that speaks of the complexity, shadows and contradictions within individual human experience and identity. I found that working with each subject on the photo shoot was also a way of building a collaborative relationship with them, that was then carried over into the process of filming the video.
In the video we see the subjects within their familiar environment; either their homes or public spaces in which they feel comfortable, where they talk directly to the camera/audience, conveying honest accounts of their experiences, attitudes and personal and cultural histories in relation to themes of community, love, sexuality and belief systems. I chose this direct form of address from the project participants in the hope that I could convey the strength, vulnerability, and resilience of this group of people from the Monash LGBTQIA+ community.
I would like to thank the project participants Panagiotis G, Tugce Gaffarogulari, Michael Barnett, Gregory Storer, Hannah Morrow, Rida Aleem Khan, and Ruqui Qiu for their generosity, honesty and commitment in the making of this work.
- DAVID ROSETZKY