It took me months since the launch of the Project to decide to publish this series, the last part of the project’s first photoshoot, shot by photographer Ricardo Rico. But if one of the motivators of this project is to show that the human body should not have to stay concealed, and if erections are natural reactions of our body to a feeling of excitement, why should they be censored? Publicly showing an image that reveals an erection automatically gives us a feeling that we need to justify it, like we may offend someone or be completely misunderstood. Worse, it made me fear that my artwork as a whole was going to be dismissed or refuted due to the explicit or “sexually appealing” content.
Each photoshoot is a performance to me. And the times when excitement happens can be charged with sexual energy, but also desire, empowerment, satisfaction, concentration, pleasure or even shame or innocence. Male erections are almost always considered sexual and associated with pornography, but can also be observed from the perspective of emotion, where the image, the pose, may or may not be sexualized. I like to experience and enjoy the sensations that occur to me instead of suppressing them; to explore the paradoxes in the sensations and the viewer’s reactions. Looking at pictures like this makes me question not only what was happening at the moment of that shot, but how and why these feelings took over me.
After all, the portrayal of an erection automatically makes an image pornographic? What is pornography?