José BalboaLook at Me, from the series Don’t You See!, 2015
Digital print, variable dimensions
In one of the most crowded corners of Vedado,1 the crossing between 23 and G, a exotic lady, with a nudity worthy to show off, but exhibited just half way, looks at a camera, spreads her arm to the traffic and defies everything possible: the danger, the lust, the night, the neglect, the delicacy, the sights, the perplexity, and even the nudity itself. The body, beautifully illuminated, is grown in stature by a contra angle. Everything is offered to strengthen that noble image: the black contrast from the fine piece of fabric to the white from the illuminated skin, the dark night background to the burst of light, the private intimacy of nudity to the public feeling of urban spaces. What is our role as spectators inside this visual story? The model, the lady in black is staring straight into our eyes from the high plane granted by the photographic composition. Where are we? Are we inside a car that has been stopped, or are we lying on the floor, or are we kneeling at her feet? We don’t know, that is an imaginary place. Once we connect with the libidinal energy condensed in the scene, we self-assigned a role: Do we surrender? Do we face or ignore such provocation?
1. Vedado is a popular municipality located in Havana City, Cuba.