by Tim Clark
These are some of my favourite images from the series He Opened Up Somewhere Along The Eastern Shore by Jason Hanasik. I have to admit that upon receiving this work I was quite bemused. I really just did not know what to make of it all. Yet, the work has an endearing eccentricity, one that reeled me in and made look closer. In short, it challenged my preconceptions and really got me thinking about how people in uniforms embody the ambivalent and at times fraught relationship between the individual and society. The idea that a group of soldiers can merge into a single body, be part of this kind of collective yet still subvert stereotypical gender codes is fascinating.
Here is his short description about the series wherein he tells us about the people he portrays: "He Opened Up Somewhere Along The Eastern Shore is a photography project which engages image making as a platform to intervene inside Western culture’s traditions and expectations as they relate to masculinity, sexuality, the uniform and class. The images included in this project are of my best friend, his younger brother, and the men who served with them in Iraq. The narrative which unfolds floats between fantasy, desire, friction, and our expectations. We,the men of these images and me, might not sit at an equal distance from the centre, but we all have a complicated relationship to what is considered normal - to our benefit and our destruction."
Jason Hanasik is a recent graduate of the MFA program in Fine Arts at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. His work is currently represented by Kris Graves Projects in Brooklyn, NY and has been collected by various private individuals across the country. Hanasik’s project He Opened Up Somewhere Across the Eastern Shore will be the subject of a solo exhibition this fall at Kris Graves Projects and an article in the Society for Photographic Education’s journal Exposure in 2010.
This review originally appeared on the blog: 1000 words Photography.