How do you gain an understanding of another person’s reality? How do you show what you feel as opposed to what you see? Where do you draw the line between empathy and voyeurism? Intimacy, between lovers, family members, friends or even strangers, has for decades been an inherent aspect of photography. Whether candid and raw or tender and affectionate, images that let us into the intimate world of the photographer themselves, or that of their subject, have the power to captivate us by virtue of their intensity and mystery. Moments of connection with others are often shared in private, away from the gaze of outsiders. In photography that offers an insight into the intimate inside world of our fellow human beings, this inside/outside border of separation is blurred. There is a confidential exchange between the viewer/maker and the subject, characterised by fragility and emotion.
Intimate Structures seeks to remind the viewer of how an exquisite photograph can reconnect us with our hidden, inner selves and with others. We collect (visual) stories of photographers who work or have worked with the theme of intimacy. Whether working picture by picture or in series, each artist focuses on a different aspect of the theme. For founder Welmer Keesmaat, also the mind behind Context – creative studio and Tique, and a photographer himself, photography is the most intimate and direct artistic medium. The perfect medium, then, for capturing the subtle warp and weft of connections between people, and for giving shape to this connectedness and the universal quest to find it.