AbstractMarried Man is a series of fifty-four images and sound recordings. The works are displayed in a large grid pattern, with five larger stand-alone prints; the sound is installed on a site-specific basis. The series involved investigative journalistic research, and adopts a photojournalistic mode that is deliberately anti-aesthetic. Photographs were taken on a cheap disposable camera rather than professional equipment, so the images are intentionally grainy and loosely composed, but each was later carefully printed by hand. I aimed to develop new ways of working, in particular by crossing over documentary and performance, and making the performative act of the photographer central to the work. My project was to investigate on one level a typology of adulterers, while on another, to explore more broadly issues of trust, deception and betrayal. Use of surveillance-type techniques raised innovative questions around ethics, freedom and the position of women. Married Man extended my practice-based research concerned with infidelity in the contemporary western world and with the performance of masculine identity. It raises questions about the ethics and protocols of documentary practice: the use of surveillance-type techniques gives a new voice to the normally silenced ‘mistress’ stereotype. Married Man might be thought of as almost an antithesis of Cindy Sherman’s work: the desiring male subjects’ expectations and fantasies of womanhood are exposed, rather than the range of roles which women are asked to adopt. The series was intended to challenge and extend existing definitions of the documentary genre. It received funding from the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art and has been exhibited internationally. Shows include: The Trace of an Act, Paraty Em Foco Photo festival, Brazil, 2011; Married Man and Other Stories: Solo Show, Photofusion, London, 2012; Narratives and Narrative Forms, Lianzhou Foto Festival, China, 2012; Get it Louder, The Orange Gallery, Beijing, China, 2012.
Caruana, Natasha (2009) Married man. [Art/Design Item]