From Feature Shoot:
For twelve months, the Paris photographer Laura Stevens transformed her bed into a stage set for a series of portraits, and more than fifty unnamed men agreed to pose nude on a single white sheet. In most cases, she had never met her subject prior to the shoot, but after some tea and conversation, a new collaboration was born. “The shoots often seemed like a sort of hypnotic slow dance,” she tells me. “They lasted normally a couple of hours, or two albums of music. The same music each time: Bach: The Goldberg Variations and some Phillip Glass.” The sessions culminated in a project simply titled him.
The choice of the passive “him” as opposed to active “he” reinforces the photographer’s own role within these silent vignettes. The art critic John Berger famously wrote, “men act and women appear,” but in Stevens’s personal inversion, she, the photographer, is the onlooker, while he, the muse, is the one observed. “It felt natural for me to photograph men in postures of softness, quietness or passivity, it being how I normally like to photograph people in general, male or female,” the artist admits. “I suppose I find vulnerability beautiful.” We asked her to tell us more.