Project: Love, Sex & Relationship, length (3mins 40 secs), a video photo documentation by Loredana Denicola
Whole video is 5 hours 50 mins 45 secs, 25 people interviewed.
Love, Sex & Relationship
Video interviews /BW film photography/Mamiya 6x7/FB Silver Gelatine fine Art prints / minimum size 16" x 20"/17 black and white images/
'Love, Sex & Relationship' is a series of portraits & videos that include questions to myself, to couples & individuals who are or were in a 'Love, Sex & Relationship'. I worked with 10 couples (interviewed individually) and 7 individuals including my mother & father, my ex and myself. I entered an intimate space of memories, thoughts and feelings.
Then I invited them to represent themselves to the camera, just as they wished.
They could choose location, time, preserve anonymity.
I was there at their disposal.
I wanted to explore what it is like for others to be in a relationship: what is Love? What is Sex? What is a relationship? Do you love yourself?
This project began in 2015 while I was in a 9 months abusive relationship and finally after two years is ready. The project includes 17 photographs (black and white film photography taken with a Mamiya II, 6x7, a full video of 5 hours and 50 minutes (25 people interviewed) and a 9-minute monologue.
Clearly I didn’t love myself.
I used the process as a therapeutic tool that helped me to understand myself, and and the importance of self-love. A final book layout with Indesign is ready, that will be published in limited edition. At the present moment I am looking for fundings.
Single mother with a teenager
I do fear love, because when it kills you it kills you, like for instance there are different kinds of love, when my daughter doesn’t want to kiss me, and say good night, it hurts me; when I feel she doesn’t appreciate something, it really does hurt me, and that is because I am a mother in love.
But I think when I love a man, and he hurts me, I don’t have to give my love back to him – but I have to hold my love for my daughter always, regardless of what she says to me or how she acts towards me…
It is a question of my toleration, of the two things, being a mother and being a woman: I don’t have to tolerate that man, but I have to tolerate my daughter, because I love my daughter – but, with a man, I have to push my love to the side if it doesn’t make me happy anymore. I have learned to take that love, and let it go, and pick up another love; that’s how I have trained myself to be and that's the only way I can be happy.
ROBERT & SARAH
Married for 13 years with three children
Robert: 'Love should be freely given – there is a Bible verse – love gives: it is not self-seeking, rather it is giving, and you look at the truly great loving people, like Madre Teresa – she just gave, gave, gave; and she didn’t ask for anything back.
I like the idea of a relationship where two people are growing into each other, and you come to compatibility through learning what the other one likes – so love should be unselfish. We need to put aside our need for self- gratification. I was thinking, if we had a society where everybody served each other unselfishly, that would be truly amazing; but we have a society where everybody seems want to take and grab for themselves, and we become like people going on the tube... it is very self-defensive, isn’t it?
Sarah: God is Love. Being a Christian, as a believer, God made each of us, and so we are made in God’s image, and so we love … that’s who we are; we are made in God’s image – that is why God is love: that is what God made us to do, here on Earth.
JAMES & JOAKIM
In a relationship
James: Are in love now?
Yes I think I am in love, I think I have got like a feeling, a warm feeling inside, that I have never felt before like, outside of my family I guess, but I think is stronger than that… I thought I had experienced love until it hits me in the face, I feel like, one day you meet the right person, or you got just your first love or you find the person you’ve got the chemistry with and then you feel love because it is more about chemistry, chemical reactions.
Joakim: What is love for you?
You have to experience love, to know what it is, you can’t explain in words. It is like this, someone else, somewhere in the world has the key, to your emotional box, and they don’t know they have that key, until they put and turned it and you have something that you never experienced before. I can’t explain it. It makes you crazy.
ROBIN & PAOLA
Married since 2 years
Robin: Love is an emotion. I remember when I told Paola, after four days in a taxy going to a opera and I said 'I don’t know what I am saying but I feel I am falling in love with you'.
And then in the same opera in the same day, we were wearing headphones, and she took out her headphones and said – 'You know what you said to me in the taxy' - and I said 'yes' - and all things going on around us, she said – 'I think I am feeling that too' – so yes it is an emotion, it is an instinct that you have to respect. If your rational mind comes in then it can’t be love. Love is an editing, it is a stream, it is not edited..
Paola: Love is intrinsic in all of us we are desperate for love. Yes, it is like air and water, and food, and housing and shelter, everybody is seeking love all the time, to feel love and cherish and so many people go into their life, in many chunks of their life, without really feeling love because they are not in a happy place. And that is quite sad…
GIULIA & DIANA
Living and working together since two years
Giulia :Yes, I l do love myself, and mostly in the last year, I managed to love myself even more. I think thanks to Diana as my previous relationships were very different. The guys I was with, they were very different from each other like straight, older men, or younger boys. In my last relationship I was with a gay boy, my same age. We were in a relationship and he was very judgmental, he didn’t appreciate something of my body, and he was always checking on how, how much and what I was eating, so I was more self - conscious about my body, and I saw that in order to please him I was becoming more like a man, looking more like a tranny, more like becoming a man in my body shape but now I do appreciate much more my body than before.
Diana: Yes absolutely, its been a long journey to get there but I think the last couple of years I tried to understand what actually is and put it into practice so I am actively love myself not just have a fake notion – yes I do love myself. I think this is the first time, in my life where I have no anxiety, surrounding the being together, with another person, the sharing of thoughts, ideas, physicality with another person and to me not having that anxiety and have completely trust, that is what I define as happiness, I guess.
GIULIA & EDWIN
'Together since 18 years'
Edwin: Love is scary? I don’t think it is scary! Why would you say it is scary? But sometimes you need that, to wake up and realise – Ah ok! That’s the moment when you learn… No, I don’t see love as scary. I think love is… you learn from mistakes, you make mistakes and, in that moment, you learn from that, but I don’t think that love is scary.
Giulia: 'I still found myself a little bit puzzled by the idea that love leads to abuse. I do believe that if there is love there is respect, there is understanding, and surely there is not that feeling that you should be abusive or physically negative towards the other person'.
'Married for 30 years, separated not divorced with a daughter'
Jesus Christ tells you “en este mandamiento” - ”Amarás a tu prójimo como a ti mismo”, in Spanish: “You love God, you love the other as yourself”. “Como a ti mismo” – “you have to love the other as you love yourself”.
'But the first thing is to love yourself … You don’t know how to love the other person if you don’t love yourself. And then, they tell you that you shouldn’t love yourself so much, because if you do, you are very selfish. Not at all – I think it is the contrary. Be selfish. Loving yourself is the first step towards real love'.
'Divorced after 10 years married'
In our Culture, Nepal’s culture, where I come from, talking about sex is not open. We stay with one wife for all our entire life. And sex is not open talk. It is not like Western Culture, where if you want to have sex one night with others, you go out and have sex with who you like. Surely culture had a big effect on how I perceive love, sex and relationships. For me love is something that goes beyond exchange. If you truly love me, I don’t expect that you do the same for me. Love is giving without expecting anything for me.
WEN WEI & VALERIA
'6 month together, getting married in 6 months'
Wei Wei: I think she knows me and understands me very well, and I know her a lot. In the beginning, we were not really serious about our relationship but, after a few times dating, I found that I was really into her, and even if sometimes we didn’t speak a lot, we still found that we were fine together, and we were able to understand each other; it is just a feeling. You feel it inside you.
Valeria: I would say my relationship at the moment simply means home; he is my home and he will always be my home. He is the place where the heart is, says that he makes me feel comfortable; he is not somebody who will look after me – he is somebody that I can hug and feel as if I was suspended on an incredibly calm river … suspended in a total vacuum… this is what love is: home.
Do You Love Yourself?
Monologue (trailer) from 'Love, Sex & Relationship'
Director / Producer Riccardo Sai/Post Production Luca Previtali