This week, I'm beginning shooting for a new project titled "Romantic Ireland":
As love becomes more and more of a commodity with the simple swipe of the finger, I wonder what the late literary greats of times past would make of "Romantic Ireland" in the digital age. In his renowned "1913", poet WB Yeats laments the loss of romanticism and idealism in Ireland as greed and capitalism erase the heroes of the past: "Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, it's with O'Leary in the grave".
To understand more about the rationale behind Tinder profiles and the quest for love and friendship, I decided to join the app and chat to my matches about their self presentation, inviting them to meet me for a portrait session where I would photograph them at their preferred dating spot.
This project is a long-term project and is just taking flight. I am working with medium format film as a deliberate methodology to slow me down and engage with my subject, in contrast to our initial online encounter, which typically takes less than 2 seconds.
The printed images will be diptychs, juxtaposing the tinder profile pictures alongside the new environmental portraits. Printing the original profile picture also works to convert a digital archive of matches into a tangible, visible, intimate archive for the public.
I believe exhibiting the work in a library where copies of Yeats' poetry are housed would create an interesting, if not contested, dialogue on the subject of nostalgia, nationalism, romanticism and contemporary Ireland.