do you want me to come?
The fuck tree in Hampstead Heath
Map of Hampstead Heath
Cruising spot at Abney Park Cemetery
Bench in Great Elm walk, Abney Park Cemetery.
Abney Park Cemetery Hot spot.
Behind a man in Abney Park Cemetery.
Man waiting in Abney Park Cemetery.
Man walking away from the camera at Hampstead Heath.
Recreation of a man masturbating in front of a grave.
Please respect the cruising spot.
Map of Bettersea Park
West bench in Sub-tropical garden, Battersea Park.
Map of Abney Park.
Man looking at the camera at Abney Park Cemetery.
Man waiting and smiling in Abney Park.
Entrance of Brompton Cemetery's cruising grounds.
Map of Brompton Cemetery
Between here and Brompton Cemetery.
Cum wall at Brompton Cemetery.
My current research is focused around the spatial politics of cruising. What is the current state of cruising in the gay community nowadays? Cruising spots are disappearing around cities and this is a trend that extends to all LGBTQI+ places. The recent and relative acceptance of the gay community, normalisation and the growing use of online dating platforms, means that you don't have to use secret places to be able to meet other people like you. But, what happens to the spaces behind the undergrowth and who uses them now? In Do you want me to come? I visit these traditional cruising parks in the city of London and examine their social activity, to see if they remain a place of social change or have become something else. Making myself known in the cruising space I capture a plate with my 4x5 camera, to preserve this place for posterity.
My work engages and explores the boundaries of photography as a critical practice to combat existing social power structures in public and private spaces. With an emphasis in the creation of a new visual language to portray the non-visible space. A question that I am currently trying to answer with my practice is, on the one hand, how do the evolving politics of my own community (LGBTQI+) change the way we interact and the way we cruise? And on the other hand, how do the effects of normalisation and social cleansing erode the cruising grounds?
I use photography as a tool to try to portray this invisible and ever-changing space, to preserve it against extinction. Through the use of a poetic language, I try to elevate it, they become almost bucolic. Eventually, it is as if these places were specimens to be encased in a transparent box, safeguarded to be seen by future generations. The lack of verbal interaction in the cruising act gives way to a distinct type of non-verbal communication, one based on gestures, looks and body language: a semiotics of cruising and its reflection on photography.