Title of Work: hOTEL rOOMS
Medium: Digital Still Photographs
Duration: 2 years
I have been experimenting with self portraits since I was a school-going boy. Before I even familiarised myself with the term. Yes, like most adolescent boys, I wanted to send my partner photos of myself. I always tried to make the photos artistic, subtle, indirect, full of light and shade, and simply exciting. I was able to explore so much more with portraits just by being in my room with myself. I became my own director. Soon I began to construct narratives that left the realms of that adolescent school boy.
Past few years I’ve been traveling. I find hotel rooms fascinating. They are all the same and yet so different from each other in how they make you feel. Traveling alone gives you the headspace to immerse into this “private” space that you occupy temporarily.
The general idea of the room is pretty simple, but the finer details are influenced by location, budget, and sometimes even the weather.
I find a sense of calmness in these rooms, as though I was in a gigantic box made up of mirrors— all these perceptions are actually my own and how I look at myself.
The general idea is pretty simple, I am like any other human being. And to myself the same human being, if I isolated myself. However, the finer details of how my body changes, my skin reacting to this space, how my mood is influenced by the location and setting, so on.
An aspect of my traveling is that I don’t groom at all. Since whenever I do shave, most people treat me as a child. I don’t carry any razors or trimmers that I can rid any body hair with, so essentially let everything grow as they would naturally.
Given the complexity of the process— to compose, focus, and shoot, I ended up building a vast collection of photos of myself.
It has been a while through these rooms, and I am fully aware of how my body looks, how much I have changed not just mentally, but also physically; If I prefer the hair or not, how different lighting makes me look, what makes me look commercially appealing to what makes me feel naturally comfortable. The medium of photography is powerful, and I decided to begin to use it to document myself.
All Images Copyright © 2017 Ankit Banerjee. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or uncredited republishing is prohibited.