London-based photographer and lecturer Natasha Caruana has recently completed a rather interesting and unusual photography project exploring the theme of infidelity.
Caruana’s strange project is entitled “Married Men” and it basically involved her spending a year going on dates with married men and capturing sneaky photographs of these dates. She found her subjects on a dating website that was geared towards people who were looking to partake in extramarital affairs and over the course of a year, Caruana went on 80 dates.
On her dates Caruana would take a disposable camera and a digital recorder hidden inside a small red purse. She used the recorder to capture the conversation and the camera to take secret photographs that her subjects were unaware of. She would only take a few pictures on each date so as not to make the men suspicious. Look out for the small red purse that contains the recorder that makes cameo appearances in many of her photographs.
Of course all of the photographs in Caruana’s ‘Married Men’ collection are captured without the men’s permission, however the images she uses omit faces so that their identities are not revealed.
Infidelity is a recurring theme in Caruana’s work, in another project entitled the ‘The Other Woman’ she captured portraits of women who were feeling “unease” after being involved in affairs.
Alistair Robinson, the Contemporary Art curator at The Northern Gallery wrote an interesting review about Caruana’s ‘Married Men’ project. He said that the project asks many questions like why the men would put their marriages at risk and what an artist’s ethical responsibility should be.
He said that her photographs encourage the audience to think like a detective, searching for clues in the shot. Her images show the sordid reality of the kind of locations that affairs take place in; they are not in posh hotels like we see in Hollywood, but rather in dingy pubs or quiet, dated restaurants. The quality of the photographs (taken with a cheap disposable camera and developed by hand) also reflects the harsh reality of the situation.
You can see the ‘Married Men’ collection and listen to the recordings that were made on those dates on Natasha Caruana’s website.