Triples – 2009
19 inkjet prints
This project explores the strange and unusual sensation of introducing a third, the other, to our concept of the couple. During a three-month artist residency in Vienna, Austria I produced a series of photographs titled Triples, where I approached couples and photographed our suggested intimacy in the private context of their homes.
These artworks address the opposition between sexuality and civilization, defined by “the fact that sexual love is a relationship between two people, in which a third party can only be superfluous and troublesome, whereas civilization rests on relations between quite large numbers of people”(1). In order to include others and take part in civilization we subvert our sexual drives that traditionally find satisfaction within a couple. By adding myself, a stranger, to existing couples in their homes, the tension between the social expectations of civilization and the satisfaction of our sexual desires is explored. My presence suggests the temptation of others, the possibility of jealousy and the threat that civilization poses of diverting energy from the coveted sexual satisfaction achieved in a couple. Given the current political climate, the privileging of our individual needs and desires appears to be clashing with a larger consideration for what is best for our society as a whole. These photographs document couples in the setting of their homes and the varying degrees of discomfort that adding a third person can elicit.
Triples presents the relationship of three people in the context of a home to explore the social construct of a couple. The introduction of a third suggests the complex relationship of our individual desires and our competing desire to form a community.
1. Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontents. Trans. David McLintock. 1930. London : Penguin Books, 2002. 45.
Acknowledgments: Petia and Haime Alexieva, Flo and Vera Reiter, Kurt Koleznik, Ruth Kokoefer, Marie-Therese Strachwitz, Ioannis Micropoulos, Werner Schroettner, Anna Weszelits, Ulrich and Kylie Thaler, Claudia Ruepp, Manuel Gasperi, Angelina Fessler, Lukas Lingenhel, David Alexander Smith, Saleema Abudulai, Theresa Kaisergruber, Matthias Benedikt, Sarah Kolb, Rouven Dürr, Christian Kainradl, Pia Clodi, Holger Fleischmann, Judith Seher, Andreas and Jutta Weiss, Maggi Lusser, Simon Klocker, Karl Moestl, Helena Stockinger, Tamara Freudemann, Johannes Egger, Helga Tschiggerl, Wolfgang Auer, Stephy Ewers, Marco Zinz, Robert Heiling, Amalia Priyatna, the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture in Vienna, Austria, Astri Prugger Design, the entire team at VU, Sandra Huber , Jean-Michel Ross, Klaus Scherübel, Lynne Cohen.