In Almost Every Picture 16 – Sexy Sofa | We like to christen our stuff; our kids, our boats, a new home. Often we celebrate when we use something for the first time, to mark the occasion and its appearance in our lives. There are traditional ways to do this, and then the not so familiar, personal rites of passage we create for ourselves and our things.
In 1965 Noud and Ruby decided to pimp up their living room. They refurnished the fireplace opting for a conical, mid-century design that resembles a witch's hat. The second new addition was a sofa; a tufted corner piece in a classy shade of beige velveteen. Not a right-angled design but a soft sensual curve snaking around the corner of the room. Not to mention, it had tassels. Unsurprisingly, Noud and Ruby were smitten with their revamped living room and wanted to give it a christening all of their own…
Their new home improvements set the scene for what became a sincere and erotic collaboration between Noud and Ruby that spanned almost 10 years, documenting fashion and fantasy and ultimately prompting us to ask ourselves: who are we behind closed doors and what sides of ours identities do we choose to conceal, even if they give us pleasure and satisfaction. These images were never intended to be revealed beyond the walls of their living room and yet now we have them in front of us.
And that’s one of the wonderful things about photography; it gives us control over our legacy, of how we want to be portrayed, and what imprint of ourselves we want to leave behind. Through Noud’s camera, Ruby becomes a star taking center-stage. Yet in almost every picture, the repeat performances of the sofa and the fireplace elevate them to co-star status. These inanimate characters don’t need to say anything because their presence does enough, for where would Ruby be without them.
Erik Kessels is an expert in photographic coincidence. Always on the lookout for beauty and a healthy dose of absurdism, he obsessively collects the pictures that others throw in the bin. This has resulted in a wonderful series of publications: IN ALMOST EVERY PICTURE.
104 p, ills colour & bw, 16 x 20 cm, pb, English