Now open at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Hass is Always Closer, a selection of personal images by Elo (elorac Paule).
Through the sixteen images on display, we are asked to join with Elo as she reviews her exploration of BDSM and discovery of submission (which might not be what you might believe it to be after reading those four letters) as a part of her in-world time. Alongside of this, they are presented as a reflection of Elo’s year, which she acknowledges has been an emotional one for her in both the physical and digital realms.
Displayed in the familiar large format used at Nitroglobus, these are sensual images presented – for the most part – in soft lighting and muted tones. Often, with photographs featuring nudity and / or adult theme like BDSM, the observer is cast into the role of the voyeur; we are given a sense of being given an illicit peek at a situation. With only a couple of possible exceptions, that’s not the case here; with these images we’re being asked to share in the emotions evoked by the images: moments of loving affinity, of vulnerability, of introspection, of surrender, and of human change.
Alongside the desire to evoke an emotional response in her audience, Elo notes that she also sees her pieces in terms of songs, and offers Affection by Cigarettes After Sex as a companion piece to this exhibit. in walking through the gallery. For reasons I can’t fully determine, Swing Out Sister’s cover of Windmills of Your Mind Iooped its way through my head; perhaps it was a subconscious linking of Elo (who is French) to Michel Legrand, composer of the song’s score; whatever the reason, it didn’t seem inappropriate.
Accompanying the exhibition is a personal note by Elo, alluded to above, which should be read alongside of the visit. Not only does it offer further insight into the very personal aspect of her photography, it also reveals her own understanding of the true nature of “submission”, devoid of the trappings of labels such as “BDSM”: that it is effectively the expression of love between two people; the willingness for each to give their best to the other without question or hesitation.
Always Closer is a fascinating exhibition. both through the art and Elo’s own words. Introspective, intimate, personal, it both reveals Elo’s life and journey and gives rise to contemplation of our own thoughts, feelings and – perhaps – direction, as we straddle the physical and the virtual.
- Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (Sunshine homestead, rated: Moderate)