On the 31st of March of 2017, my work was part of a big exhibition titled 'SHASHIN SHASHIN', Japanese for 'Photograph, photograph'. It featured 3 photographers working in an aesthetic inspired by post-war Japanese photography and was curated by the Spanish photographer Miguel Oriola. Miguel and I had been in touch over Facebook for the year leading up to the exhibition, during which we discovered our minds and photographic eyes were very alike. After slowly building a friendship through these messages, he invited me to stay at his apartment during the week of the opening.
About 5 hours after he picked me up from the airport, we were walking through the streets of Madrid as two prostitutes approached us. They asked us if we were interested in sex and after a brief conversation between Miguel and I we decided to ask them if it was okay to just take photographs of them. Only slightly confused, they agreed to the proposal. So, the 19-year-old and 73-year-old photographers followed them up a staircase and into a small room.
Fascinated by the event and the apparent opportunity to reach for a deeper connection when shooting, we decided to go back multiple times during the week that followed. Sometimes seperately, sometimes at the same time. To our advantage, word had spread about the photographers and thankfully the girls we had worked with during the first half of the week had experienced us as very kind and trustworthy 'customers'.
I think I had a good connection with most of these women, even spending time with some outside of the context of prostitution or photography. Being able to get to know Miguel Oriola was also an unreal experience, as it felt like I was staying with another generational version of myself in many ways.
The week also consisted of very dark things, such as the time I visited the brothel on a busy Saturday night. There was a long stretched out hallway with many doors leading to small rooms in which people were having sex. The warmth and smell combined with the sound of a dozen girls having sex with customers at the same time could truly make a person go 'Madrid Mad'.