Hannah Solus

Hannah Solus

Intimate Silence

Words & Images © Hannah Solus. Team New York No. 2.

I’ve been experimenting with self-timed photography to explore the impact of exposing not only my partner in intimate settings, but myself as well. It always feels safer to stay behind the camera. Lately, that seems dishonest and unfair when trying to capture a vulnerable moment that involves both of us. She has been patient and willing to let me carry out this project, so the least I can do is take full part in the act of photographing, and being photographed.

Intimacy can make us feel invisible to the rest of the world, protected by an understanding or belief of privacy. There’s quiet within our shared moments of isolation. Time moves more slowly, yet there’s still never enough of it. The split second between movements gets lost. We want to remember everything about the space and the person which makes us feel seen and heard, amidst our own silence. The cast of light, the fall of water, the peak of the mirror and the reflection it presents, all become religious and sacred in our effort to gather and hold the things that we are constantly afraid to lose.

When I’m living in my own comfortable silence, I don’t often think about my queerness as vulnerable. I acknowledge this as privilege–to see and understand gay and queer as normal. Sharing intimate photos forces me to reflect on the idea of privacy. A camera can capture the idea of quiet and privacy, but it simultaneously rids the subjects and the moment of those very things. When my partner and I wait for the shutter to release, we let go of our silence. When sharing a representation of our experience, we hope to engage an ongoing conversation about our identity, what that means, and how it can be normalized to a wider audience.