André Medeiros Martins is an actor and performer. He is, in his own words, a self-fictionist. He does not consider himself a photographer. I had already offered myself and been invited to participate in some of his projects when, close to launching his website — which compiles in a virtual apartment his portfolio of more than a decade of research and experimentation on nudity, sexuality and pornography — he invited me to do an octuple session, where I would be photographed — in a single day — in 8 different concepts/ideas/formats corresponding to each of the main phases of his past decade of artistic production.
1 – Declinations
André Medeiros Martins lived with his mother in a quiet apartment in suburban São Paulo. After she passed away, he used the money from her grant to buy his first and only ever DSLR camera. Starting in his room with a close friend, he ended up spending his mourning period photographing friends and relatives naked. Why not, after all? 80 photoshoots later, he launched the book “DECLINATIONS – A Study About Plural Sexuality”.
2 – My Life Without Me (April Fool’s)
André was born on April 1, 1982 — April Fool’s Day. He grew up used to hearing jokes or comments about lying or untrustworthiness whenever he mentioned his birthday. In this series, André portrayed people in a process of interviews about their meaning for lie, and how he himself related to those varied meanings.
3 – Explicits
André Medeiros Martins began to photograph before the “send nudes” boom and the complete incorporation of the social networks into daily life. When he published the first photoshoots, the first censorship barriers on social networks emerged. André then discovered on Tumblr a publishing platform where he could push the boundaries of pornography without restriction.
4 – Colors
At various times throughout his life, André proposed to his close ones the creation and exchange of color-themed photographs and what they could represent. We improvised several colors inside his apartment’s shower using random — or rather carefully chosen — objects.
5 – The Pillow Book
André Medeiros Martins is a movie buff and has always wanted to use his cinematographic references in performative photography. First came Rocky Horror, then Shortbus, until The Pillow Book (1996), a Peter Greenaway film that tells the story of a Japanese model who dreams of publishing her writings and thus seduces the editor’s lover and sends out her texts meticulously calligraphed on the bodies of men.
6 – Femininities
Witnessing several emerging photographic projects portraying nudity, sexuality or gender, and with the discussion of gender theory in a rush, André Medeiros Martins raised a question to his friends: what are your “femininities”? For this series, he set aside the professional camera and photographed with his mobile. The texts that accompany the photos were written based on the news and stories that were being published in the newspapers in relation to the theme.
7 – Virtual Performances (what would you do with a cock?)
With the gaining traction of mass image production on the social networks, André felt the desire to create a direct, instantaneous link with his followers. So he created a secret facebook group called Mentira! (Lie!) and there proposed various Virtual Performances, where he and guest performers produced photos in real-time based on requests made by the group’s members in the comments, based on an initial provocation. The photos were made with the computer webcam and immediately posted in the comment box in reply to the requests from the facebookers.
Our session’s theme was: what would you do with a cock? The requests made by the audience are in the photo captions.
8 – Clowns
André found a picture of when he was six, at kindergarten, probably on Pajama Day… accompanied by a clown. He then decided to ask: what kind of clown do you identify with?
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This shoot by André Medeiros Martins was previewed earlier for my Contributors, who also get exclusive access to extras, outtakes and making-ofs of every new photoshoot. I count exclusively on your collaboration to continue making this kind of work. If you think it is worth it, you can contribute a small monthly amount to get access to all of this extra material and to several ways you and I can interact and collaborate in making this work. Click here to learn more about the contribution options and the corresponding benefits.
Finally, if you haven’t seen them yet, you can find the previous 27 NUDE Shoots here.