Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Colin reflects his longing for a sympathetic community in photographs, videos, and performances. The works of Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin, David Wojnarowicz, Emile Zola, and Nikki S Lee expand his understanding of the way strategic routine transforms mundane personal choices into politicized disruptions. His storytelling examines everyday performances which occur off-stage–pedestrian desire-fueled exchanges.
I hadn’t anticipated my first trick’s proposition. As the lights came up and the music died, he eagerly asked what it would cost to take me home. I laughed, then threw out the price of my monthly rent. After he agreed, I ran to the locker room to find out how much I should have asked. Someone said $1,000. A boy from St. Louis told me not to do it at all. Said once I’d made that much money, that quickly, dancing for $1’s would never seem enough. He said it was a door I couldn’t close from inside. I slept Uptown that night and made $400 cuddling. He wanted more, but neither he nor I could get him there.
“In the old romance of the artist, any person who has the temerity to spend a season in hell risks not getting out alive or coming back psychically damaged . . . there is a large difference between the activity of a photographer, which is always willed, and the activity of a writer, which may not be. One has the right to, may feel compelled to, give voice to one’s own pain—which is, in any case, one’s own property. One volunteers to seek out the pain of others.” Susan Sontag, On Photography
I was challenged to pinpoint the redemption in this work by a guy who felt it bleak. Luckily redemption means both the act of making something better or more acceptable, as well as the act of exchanging something for money, an award, etc.
When I asked my dad if I should entertain a man who was proffering big city gallery connections, my father echoed that other dancer’s warning. He assured me the right person will “see you” the way most everyone else cannot. To him, anything less than this sort of honest acceptance isn’t worth the time.
He lives with his mother.