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Kissing the Lipless

It is often difficult to define exactly what the human condition is. When the word ‘condition’ is used in context with what makes us human, it denotes a sort of incurable illness, a major flaw in our being. It seems only fitting to note that some of the most influential thinkers and creatives in the history of our human existence have drawn inspiration from this condition. Splayed over the pages of the most thought-provoking pieces of literature, over the canvases and walls that have survived the ravages of Time, on the songs that have managed to transcend cultures, on the screens of our talking boxes - - - lies a question we know not the answer to.

Tragically, we also seem to be asking the wrong questions, and have been asking the wrong questions for as long as we have recorded history.

Kissing the Lipless is a series of photographs roughly inspired by the first song off The Shins’ Chutes Too Narrow album. What started off as a rough sketch of my [personal] observations on multiple-personality disorders and the “God-complex” very quickly evolved into a full-blown narrative that found itself realized shortly after a tremendously heartbreaking separation. The series is divided into three parts - a prologue, the body, and an epilogue (in the form of a diptych). The protagonists (one can safely assume that they are lovers) are being haunted, persistently, by a dark and menacing presence. While in a sense, this can be viewed as a tragic love story, I also wanted to convey humanity’s obsessive-compulsive propensity to inject meaning into our existence -  The Presence, is, in a lot of ways, representative of this. Our existence is rapt in chronic dissatisfaction; perhaps, in the long run, this condition of ours is our long-winded way of assuring ourselves that we are not fully and entirely alone.

The vastly dark and alluring nature of The Presence reduces The Male protagonist to a shell of the person he may have been, once, long ago, before Pain’s first major infliction in his life. The Female, privy to repeated hauntings for as long as she can recall, struggles to fight [The Presence’s] hold on her. The couple’s love for each other is also very much an unfulfilled love, and will remain unfulfilled until the two can learn to meet in the middle. Until then, they remain married to each other’s memory; they are widows, as the shells of their brief lives with each other wither into non-existence.