The work Looking For Love comprises a series of un-staged photographs of “romantic” couples, taken in locations around Florence. The portraits were shot surreptitiously in order to capture uninterrupted moments of raw interaction.
The project is a study in body language that has resulted in a visual commentary about contemporary love. These are scenes of hope, transience, desperation and disappointment from which a passerby might have diverted their eyes. Looking For Love gives the viewer the opportunity to look longer and delve deeper into the everyday. The snapshots expose the intense emotional charge underpinning life, and demonstrate the relentlessness of human nature is in its eternal—external—quest for love.
But who or what is driving our emotional energy? How come we are failing to discern love’s substitutes and fakes? What is love anyway? And why are we frantically looking for “it” but neglecting ourselves?
After much reflection on the patterns and compulsions of my own life, I found some of the answers I’d been searching for in these snatched love-shots of others. I realised that I’m a person built on illusory foundations, hence have been looking for something I wasn’t able to grasp: Real love, approval and acceptance. I have craved these missing “somethings” like a desperate junkie.
It clicked. Real love isn’t a drug and refuses to be used as such; it will stay forever elusive on those terms. The harder you look for love, the more easily you will give yourself. And then it isn’t love that you will find but an opposed force. And it will find you, because it’s a predatory energy that resonates with the lost and with hungry souls.
The German-American poet, novelist and short story writer Charles Bukowski wrote, “We are all trapped by a singular fate. Nobody ever finds the one.” Perhaps that’s because we are the one we’ve been looking for; we just forgot to look inside.
These photographs were shot on 120mm film using a vintage Hasselblad camera.
Emma will be exhibiting her artwork at PopCafé (piazza Santo Spirito 18/R, Florence) from October 3 to November 7, 2019.