Two people who just made love stand on the threshold between their private life in bed and their public existence in the photo, in the museum, in the gallery.

-Hripsimé Visser

Perhaps it is this ever more sharply developed feeling for the specific language of various photographic genres that set Martine Stig on the track of her most recent project: images of young men and women soon after sexual intercourse. What she wanted was to find a photographic equivalent of an expression, a look usually not witnessed by a third party, and yet which had to be - or could be - recognizable. It is hardly possible to be more voyeuristic, but what is ultimately at issue is the question of whether a photograph can record such a moment in an unambiguous manner. The answer, of course, is no, but that in no way detracts from the quality of Martine Stig's photographs. They are convincing simply as images of couples who are undeniably on intimate terms with each other and radiate a touching vulnerability - although that latter is partly a consequence of youth and of faces clearly somewhat dazzled by the light.

Martine Stig opted for an extremely reserved staging and - except for the portrait of herself and her friend - she is herself absent from the moment of the thoroughly prepared shot. In order for a photograph to achieve as direct a meaning as she had in mind, other details would have been necessary. Now, hair styles, t-shirts, frontality, colour and size give these images a contemporary character, but photography is too thoroughly image to be able to get across a clear-cut message by means other than through the story that details - and captions - tell.


-Hripsimé Visser