At the crossroads of art, research and activism, Lusted Men is an investigation that began in the summer of 2019. Its aim is to fill a void: that of erotic photographs of men*. Have you ever seen any? Many ? Because eroticism has long been associated with femininity, these images exist — they are even numerous — yet they remain hidden in drawers or in the realm of fantasy. Visual culture has taught women to enhance and embellish themselves, to let themselves be observed and to reveal their flesh in front of the camera. As art critic John Berger once said during an episode of Ways of Seeing, broadcasted by the BBC in 1972, “men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.”
Based on this observation, and to offer an alternative, Lusted Men launched a photograph submission open to all, professionals and amateurs — regardless of their gender and sexual orientation — to capture what is erotic in a male or male identifying figure. Ranging from the orchestrated nude in the studio to a spontanenous post-coital selfie, more than 230 contributions responded to the call. In the wake of homoerotic photography, these images enrich the field of male erotic representation. Simultaneously, they inaugurate a visual archive of contemporary intimacy.
Since this initial investigation, Lusted Men has transformed into an open and fluid collective, composed of artists and researchers. Its members have taken 8 rue Perronet as their headquarters and gallery space to reveal the entire collection to the general public for the very first time, for the tenth year anniversary of the Photo Saint-Germain festival.
*identifying themselves as such.