Les Amants

Des Harris
EXHIBITION  RUNS
   
October
   
27
 -  
November
   
7
An “artist as subject” photo exploration by Des Harris

INFORMATION

After relocating to Paris for three years and becoming exposed to the French institution of Les Amants, l’aventure, and the 5 à 7, the tradition of taking lovers outside of marriage, photographer Des Harris undertook a visual journey to explore the emotions and many facets of this seemingly accepted lifestyle.

 

Venturing in to an “artist as subject” project he placed himself in to the situations that lovers are faced with.  The excitement, the chemistry, the deception, the pain, hurt, guilt, the pleasure, the sex, the stolen moments, les liaisons dangereuses, even love perhaps.

 

“The President of France, François Hollande, was caught cheating on his mistress, with another mistress. It was tolerated”, says Des. “I met and knew people who lived in open relationships, some polyamorous. One female friend had a lover who is a famous French artist. When the lover was having difficulties with his wife at home, my friend’s male partner moved out of the apartment to enable the lover to move in for a while. Another female I knew of was in a lesbian relationship, but her partner was the lover to the wife of an ambassador in Paris. I was sure it couldn’t be as easy as that. There had to be implications.”

 

Needing a willing partner to fulfil this project and portray these emotions, he sought a muse to play his mistress. “A couple of attempts drew models that were unrealistic as a lover to me. I created some nice imagery but they lacked chemistry. Then I met Rachel, an actress who ended up playing my wife in a short film we worked on together. We became great friends and she agreed to pose for my project. For nearly two years we documented our lives together. We lived through those emotions, experienced them.”

 Was it inevitable somewhere along the way that life might imitate art?

After relocating to Paris for three years and becoming exposed to the French institution of Les Amants, l’aventure, and the 5 à 7, the tradition of taking lovers outside of marriage, photographer Des Harris undertook a visual journey to explore the emotions and many facets of this seemingly accepted lifestyle.

 

Venturing in to an “artist as subject” project he placed himself in to the situations that lovers are faced with.  The excitement, the chemistry, the deception, the pain, hurt, guilt, the pleasure, the sex, the stolen moments, les liaisons dangereuses, even love perhaps.

 

“The President of France, François Hollande, was caught cheating on his mistress, with another mistress. It was tolerated”, says Des. “I met and knew people who lived in open relationships, some polyamorous. One female friend had a lover who is a famous French artist. When the lover was having difficulties with his wife at home, my friend’s male partner moved out of the apartment to enable the lover to move in for a while. Another female I knew of was in a lesbian relationship, but her partner was the lover to the wife of an ambassador in Paris. I was sure it couldn’t be as easy as that. There had to be implications.”

 

Needing a willing partner to fulfil this project and portray these emotions, he sought a muse to play his mistress. “A couple of attempts drew models that were unrealistic as a lover to me. I created some nice imagery but they lacked chemistry. Then I met Rachel, an actress who ended up playing my wife in a short film we worked on together. We became great friends and she agreed to pose for my project. For nearly two years we documented our lives together. We lived through those emotions, experienced them.”

 Was it inevitable somewhere along the way that life might imitate art?

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