OPEN DOORS // Gonzalo Benard
"It all started when a friend of mine made a post saying on FB "all my plans for tonight were cancelled and I will have to stay home alone and lonely". As I never understood loneliness I thought it would be great to follow a friend, to "spy" on his rituals of loneliness, as I only knew him being social. So I asked him if he didn’t mind me to shoot him, in silence. To observe his loneliness.
I let them free to do their own rituals, and I don’t direct them in that: they must be themselves and do whatever they use to do when alone and lonely. Usually it takes around 2 hours through skype. The webcam is on, they do whatever they want and I follow them. They take me to their bedrooms, living rooms, kitchen, bathroom, terrace…
Nakedness was not imposed, however most of them are naked when alone. It’s important to show their vulnerability, as cloth can be very protective with all its labels.A camera can always be a voyeuristic tool, even if the person behind it is not. But as autistic I always loved to observe people, to understand their feelings by their expressions, as it’s very hard for us to follow/understand. So in fact I’ve been always an observer in life. I used to sit down at a terrace and spend hours just watch people passing by. Wondering their moods, lives and joys by studying their face expressions.The only difference is that here I shoot the screen.”[book to be released later this year]