This project caught my attention because of the obviously salacious and intriguing title. But, like most good art there is far more lurking behind the first glance. As I have delved into Natasha Caruana’s work I have been continually surprised and find myself questioning the world around me. This particular series, The Married Man, was comprised of 80 dates with 54 different married men, in which Curana both recorded conversations and snapped these quick and concealing photographs. Curana established some boundaries for herself in this project, and was after not these men, but a view into how technology is affecting relationships these days.
And her final say on the matter, which surprised the artist, is for the most part this was never about sex, these men were lonely and these dating sites and her company gave them the chance to explore those feelings. She said often times, they spoke mostly of their wives. The photographs have an almost stolen quality to them. I feel a tinge of guilt for just staring at them. I feel let into something I maybe don’t want to be let in into. But this is the very reason I love it. This forces us to think on and around the very aspects of love and marriage that make us uncomfortable. It begs the good hard questions.
This sort of intriguing project is par for the course for Curana who’s work is being displayed at ODI in the UK until December. Married Man, is one of five projects which all explore and press upon our conventional boundaries of love, sex, and intimacy and what kind of role the boom in technology is playing in the process. One of the other exhibits includes the audio recordings from these dates, and one that I am particularly interested to see is called, At First Sight, photographic reenactments of falling in love at first sight. Curana is ODI’s second artist in residence and the whole exhibit is aptly titled, Love Is An Act.