My dear friend, Röra Blue, once told me that she’s in love with love. She adores the way it bleeds, the way it’s honest, and the way it’s so completely raw. Her love of love led her to creating the #UNSENTPROJECT a few years back to capture love in its truest and most honest form. She accepts submissions of unspoken words between lovers, last words to parting flames, and painful confessions about a loved-and-losts. Her second project, “Handle with Care,” showcases phrases of sexism that have been expressed towards women of the 21st century. Phrases like “Why are you upset? Is it that time of the months again?” are sewn across red panties, and “You’re a woman, you belong in the kitchen” are spelled out in alphabet soup letters – all geared towards expressing a greater feminist truth. Röra’s work hopes to convey deeply emotional and honest words of her generation to the public, and her projects have received much attention for their appeal to sincerity. Many can see that Röra’s reflection of the human condition of feeling has shed light on what the future of our generation holds.
I myself have seen many slogans and notions regarding what our future will hold. Many claim that the “Future is Female,” or the future lies in social media – or, the future will see a complete regression of technological adherence in response to social media’s overwhelming presence. All of these notions are important and completely possible; however, I see the future holding another overarching theme.
I think that the future will be saturated with themes of art, love, and honesty – elements that can draw everyone together, regardless of differences. The world has become increasingly more drawn to art – the sort of new kind of art that was born during the first World War and was cultivated in the 1960s-1970s. This sort of art doesn’t have to be beautiful – it aims at being honest and truthful. In our 21st-century heads, art is only true art if it can appeal to your sense of humanity and make you feel something.
Like Röra, my own art has been an attempt to capture the genuine essence of humanity. Originally a filmmaker, I saw my camera as a way to capture the beauty present within a person – a reflection of their individuality, as well as the part of them that links them to the rest of humanity. When I shoot, I often tell my subjects to do something that expresses who they are; sometimes, I will get a shy laugh, or a sassy expression, or a pensive, far-away look. Each of these things offers the viewer a deeper look into the subject’s souls – and, consequently, into their own humanity.
I see the future as a place for honesty and sincerity. Like my friend Röra, I like the view the world in an artful, raw way. The photos shown in this article depict a sunny Röra in August the week before I left for Europe – perhaps the truest reflection of her soul. I spent the last four months traveling everywhere from Italy to France to Holland and beyond. There, I saw further reflections of my conception of the future. Despite Europe’s saturation with art that can be traced back to antiquity, the importance placed on art can be inspirational to people of all generations. We often find ourselves so caught up in the stress of work and being financially prosperous that we forget about the simple things that draw us together and make us human. Art – the reflection of human truths – is one of these things. I’m so thankful to have been able to spend time seeing the world through this lens – the same lens that I see the future with.
Words by Marquel Plavan
Model: Röra Blue
Originally published in Volume II, Issue No. 001 – Winter 2017.