Después© Stephanie Gengotti
First the bodies, the flesh, the humours. Then the track, the sign, the imprint.
Después, in Spanish, means after. These portraits start from a very precise instant of time and from a defined place: the protagonists are couples right after sex and the room as a witness. The fulcrum of the work is not sharing intercourse, nor a morbid curiosity about the life of the subjects, but the search for the track, the one capable of telling about intimacy, through a glance or a gesture.
“How many couples in this very moment are about to have orgasm?”, wonders the young protagonist of the fortunate film Amélie. This question introduces an amusing, frenetic sequence in which fifteen couples reach the height of pleasure. The people are different by age, race and sexual preferences. They represent a variegated humanity, like that portrayed in this project. Young, old, homosexual, no form of judgement or prejudice finds space, because there is no right or wrong way to experience one’s own sexuality, nor is there an opportune or inopportune way of feeling inside oneself a moment as important as orgasm. That moment when one is completely detached from the world and from its rules to let emotions run free.
The search for people is basically founded on word of mouth. The construction of a relationship with them is long and nurtered, made of many encounters in order to create the reciprocal trust indispensable for the success of a work such as this. All the rest is in the waiting. Waiting for physical love to be consumed in order to leave space immediately afterwards for the encounter with the photographer. Waiting for something unique and unrepeatable to appear in front of the lens. A glimpse of ecstatic rapture capable of suggesting that those bodies, now two, were completely joined in unity a moment before. A cigarette and it smoke rings to tell about the solitary rite of separation. Or a hand still searching for contact and an aftermath of tenderness.
Could cinema and literature survive without sex? Could the most captivating spot succeed in entering our minds without a cry, even imperceptible, for sex? Would magazines, both for women and men, sell as many copies without continuous articles, files and surveys about sex? We are surrounded, bombarded, super-stimulated towards an almost obsessive search for physical pleasure. But beyond the number of illustrated magazines, scientific surveys, artistic inspiration or marketing rules, sex remains a private affair: litmus paper capable of digging into the identity of an individual and a relationship to reveal its union or detachment, loss of control or inhibition, serenity appeased or solitary malaise.
Despuès comes a moment after orgasm and wants to immortalise that private matter.
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