Send Nudes is a new project by artist Julie Poly, in which she explores the topic of modern virt, virtual flirting, sexting, webcam modeling. A part of the Send Nudes is presented at the RESET online exhibition, and the full project will be released as a book in 2021.
Send Nudes is based on various forms of online sexual interaction, which have become very popular and relevant in times of self-isolation. “Post-covid reality has opened up the advantages of working from home and gave the opportunity to have virtual sex on the same couch where the work zoom-conference just took place. At the same time, the online format helps to show imagination and extend your limits on the Internet more than in ordinary life,” — the author says about the project.
The Send Nudes narrative is built around rooms in which various mise-en-scenes unfold. The project participants are models, girls with experience of working as webcam models, characters from the club scene and people who are interested in virt. The artist documents the behavior of a person who has an erotic experience online. During filming, the participants were asked to improvise within certain stories. Poses, angles, the degree of frankness, the intensity of emotions — all of these things characters determined for themselves.
The photographer uses her favorite pseudo-documentary technique. The credibility of the staged project is also achieved by using virt’s semiotics. The interior of the rooms in which the project was filmed, camera angles and poses — this is a catchall inspired and based on screenshots of real webcam models' accounts.
The topic of sexual interaction is manifested on different levels. On one hand it unfurls with the narrative and style, and on the other hand with the shooting process itself. Each shooting is an experiment in which both participants and spectators are involved in interaction. Julie Poly defines the situation for the characters in which they improvise. Her camera documents the process, although the project uses more than artist's work. During the filming, the participants took their own erotic images. By examining Send Nudes, the viewer involuntarily becomes an observer. With these photos, the viewer gets involved in a session with the characters.
For the Send Nudes project, the photographer has chosen a special visual style. Photos resemble posters. The excessive picture reflects another theme of the project — the illusory nature of relationships. The line between offline and online life is blurring, the virtual experience is richer than the one in real life. “Sex is about contact, and online it becomes under-contact anyways. I wonder where the dividing line between illusion and reality in relationships is,” — says Julie Poly.