The light, the shadows and the colours reveal that this photograph is posed. It must have been planned and contrived. Eroticism is always contrived.
You can project your fantasies onto this photograph: is the woman slipping her nightdress on or off? Is the man asleep or just pretending to sleep? Does she know that he is just pretending, or does he know that she knows he is just pretending? Is it a familiar game between the two that will dissipate into giggles and kisses, where the bed covers will slip off soon afterwards as they always do during sex – and will the photographer then continue to stand in the door and take photographs? Is it part of an erotic game arranged between the three because the photographer, a woman, happens to be the couple’s best friend and what happens next has been left open…? You could also project yourself into this situation, using the slide for your own erotic or sexual habits – preferably at home, of course. For example, you could invite friends over and give a slideshow on the theme Eros and Kitsch, a lead-in to a very frank discussion about what you all find erotic and kitsch and what not, like people used to in the past. Or perhaps you would rather use the slide projector, just the two of you, and project this slide onto the opposite bedroom wall, standing and making love in the circle of light, like others do in the mirror. Or later, when you are older, keep it as a memory. Or sell the slide on ebay.
There is always a way out. Rainer Totzke
This photograph stages erotic motifs. They have been set up in detail in the choice of the objects visible, the lighting, the creases in the white bed cover, the half-suggested empty space of the bed, the nightdress being pulled over her head and the fleeting shadow on the wall.
This photograph sets up a frame in which private eroticism can be painted. The frame and the performance it contain belong to the early 1970s when white furniture was common in hotels and private bedrooms and when small, red shaded wall lamps emphasized an exotic ambience.
The alarm clock is set to twenty minutes past eleven: a time when fantasies are allowed to begin. The rose head in the white vase corresponds to the lamps, suggesting a nuance of colour in the brightly lit, bright white room like an exclamation mark, a hypostasized gesture or evocation of stimulation.
The bedroom is lit by several light sources. Silhouettes from the nightdress being pulled over the woman’s head made by the wall lamps, form on the wall and the bed staging a third presence in the room.
In the juxtaposition and simultaneity of these dramatic effects, and the typecast of the couple, an anonymous entrance is created, an imaginary door for any observer who would like to plunge into this image-scenography. Birgit Szepanski