Know Me - Eva Damstra

This project named: "Know Me" is written by Eva Damstra, all credits go to her.

A visual investigation of intimacy.

In my photography, I have always been attracted to intimacy. When I look at other people's work, intimacy is the first thing I look for. The question of what exactly intimacy is and why it comes out clearly in one photo and not in another was a great mystery to me. This project is an investigation into intimacy. Intimacy is a special concept that many photographers strive for, but what exactly the word means remains a bit of a mystery. This is why I find this topic so interesting. Is intimacy in the way of working? Does it have to do with the viewer or the maker? Does it have to do with nudity? These are all questions that have been haunting my head for a long time and that is why this research is prompted. People are naturally always looking for a certain form of connection and this theme is often reflected in art.

Within my project, I started to record an intimate relationship that is very important to me. We explore the borders of intimacy within companionship. Working together with Zea showed me new perspectives on intimacy and also the interpretation people will always put on the works of others.

The role of the spectator is extremely important in determining intimacy. the background of the viewer naturally plays a major role in this. The idea that people are sexualizing our work is tricky but also fun to play with.

I'll tell you right now, Zea and I have been best friends and colleagues in photography for years. the fact that people see a sexual relationship in this is something we want to get rid of. I believe that sexuality and intimacy are two separate things, for many people, there is a connection here, but I don't think this is the case. Also, I think nudity doesn't always have to be sexual. Someone who, in my opinion, makes work super intimate is Nan Goldin, for example, she exposes herself, her inner world. I think this is the ultimate intimate. Intimacy for me means being totally at ease and exposing your inner world to another.

Now that it’s clear what I wanted to capture it’s time to talk about the how.
For this project I worked with my lovely Nikon F3, the choice to make it analog was a conscious one. Analog photography has something pure for me. Photographer Koos Breukel once said to me that a dark room is a kind of womb in which creation comes first. In addition, I also find that the colors of Fujifilm C200, Kodak Gold, and Colorplus beautiful and especially combined with Tri-X 400. As soon as I have the first prints in my hands I fall completely in love with the image again, I really need this to continue with a project and it’s a lot easier by working with beautiful film stocks.

The feeling of creating an image from start to finish from scratch was one of the most important things in this project for me.

My visual research into intimacy is bundled together in a book called Know Me.
Eva Damstra

Instagram: @eva.anne.damstra

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