Zoë Zimmerman: Of Men: Strength and Vulnerability – Part III: Care
Portfolio Introduction
Of Men: Strength and Vulnerability is an examination of male behavior, in particular, platonic intimacy and how cultural biases set the parameters for physical relationships. Men in American society suffer from an unconscious bias against displays of platonic male affection. This fact Creates a pattern of “ touch isolation”. It is rare that we see imagery of men engaged in nurturing physical contact with one another. Is this because masculine touch is most often interpreted as inherently sexual? Whether this paradigm is the cause of rampant homophobia or vise versa is unanswerable. My intention with this study is to shine a light on the archetype; to raise the question rather than answer it.

Care, the third group, though also derived from medical texts, depicts more physical and perhaps emotional involvement, more caring. There is an emphasis on direct touch, more hand on skin. In this tier of the work the contact is intimate while remaining outside the realm of the erotic. It aims to define a possible fearless closeness that is not homosexual or sexual at all. It is not a definition of how men interact physically but a fantasy or projection of how they could.

All images were shot with either an 8x10 or 4x5 view camera. The formality of the method of capture adding to the Uncomfortable aspect of the work itself. The prints are archival pigment prints ranging in size from 16 x 20 to 30 x 30.

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