Jennifer Long, Toronto, Canada
Jennifer Long is an artist, curator and educator holding a BAA from Ryerson University and a MFA from York University. Her artistic practice dialogues on issues of doubt, vulnerability, perceived ideals, and communication within the context of interpersonal relationships. This lens-based work uses constructed narratives to describe the emotions and quiet moments of everyday life. To inform her creative process, Long draws inspiration from a range of influences including feminist perspectives and contemporary fiction. Long’s artwork has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally and she has been the recipient of grants from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and The Canada Council for The Arts.
As I pass through my late twenties and into my early thirties, I have become intrigued by the doubt involved with falling and being in love. I have witnessed an age-appropriate panic raging through friends and acquaintances about love and relationships.
There seems to be a common faltering, an unspoken hesitation regarding commitment and relationships. The complex dynamics found within a relationship are not only disclosed through words, but also through gesture, touch and the spaces in between. Through the discussion of apathy, uncertainty, fear and sadness, my photographs examines the signs and responses to doubt, stress and the progress of time within intimate relationships.
After entering the stage of a "serious" engagement, lovers often begin to lose a basic tenderness. Multi-tasking, monotony and stress consume moments previously dedicated to a partner's tender act. Becoming rushed and discontent in our lives, we allow the comforts of domestic life to shift our priorities. Necessity and function begin to overshadow individuality, identity and intimacy. As this change occurs, some of us slowly drift into the realm of doubt, repetition and neglect.
is a series of open-ended dialogues about the acceptance and rejection of touch. Physical contact can depict the complexity of a relationship more accurately than words. Awkwardness or discomfort shown during moments of physical communication can suggest hidden emotions and issues within relationships.
In bedded, the viewer enters an intimate tableaux where depictions of gesture create a narrative of longing, desire, uncertainty and sadness. The models appear relaxed and seemingly unaware of the camera, absorbed in the privacy of the moment. The occasional contact between the subject and photographer alludes to the constructed nature of the images. The bedroom, which sets the scene for this work, immediately raises notions of voyeurism and invasion.
Through focus and composition, the images seduce the viewer into pausing to reflect on the tactile quality of skin and hair, and the subtle movements contained within the depicted relationships. By making these images larger than life, attention is drawn to space and gesture; to those in-between moments when touch suggests something beyond the obvious. The viewer’s interpretation of these images is often reflective of their personal histories and biases, where notions of fear, anxiety, trust, and desire are all individually perceived.
Through fabricated representations of intimacy a dialogue of the necessity and consequences of touch is revealed. The complex dynamics found within a relationship are not only disclosed through words, but also through gesture, touch and the spaces in between. -
bedded Artist Statement, Jennifer Long, 2001
Included in the RIC Research Centre, Ryerson University, the Photographers: Network, and various private collections.