A body belongs to the person who resides within it. However, when that body is placed in the public arena, it’s ownership can become destabilized. The gaze of most if not all viewers, consciously or not, fetishizes and objectifies.
False claims can be laid to the body of another, either through this process or by the machinations of more malignant individuals. ‘Touch With Your Eyes’ attempts to visualize this fetishization; objectification and loss of clarity surrounding the photographed individual’s ownership of their body. It also examines the role of the viewer and the means in which they either passively or actively consume the image.
The Octopus/Squid imagery is inspired by traditional Japanese tentacle erotica. Photographer Hue Hale describes how he “wanted to use tentacles to visually represent the viewers who comment or send inappropriate messages (without being prompted) to people on social media about their bodies, therefore objectifying and fetishizing them without consent. Traditional tentacle erotica was used as a way of getting around the laws of drawing pornography that included a man and a woman, so I felt that the tentacles in the images would be a perfect way to represent these viewers.
The photos were shot on film and the tentacles were placed in after. The tentacles being put in virtually as a 3D render plays with the concept of hyperreality. Hyperreality is explained as an inability to distinguish between what’s reality and fiction. Social media is not truly reality however, it is more and more part of our lives and the lines between what’s real and what’s not are now blurred. Hate comments in your inbox or on a picture you post even though they are words on a screen can affect the recipient in a tangible, real way.”
Photographer/Creative Director: Hue Hale @huehale
3D Artist: Rebecca Flynn @t4ng3rin3sh4dow
MUA: Yasmin Archer @yasminarcherdesign
Model: Ramon Maia @_itsnotme