Taking its title from a 1987 Smith’s song, Drew Pettifer’s I keep mine hidden is a book of intimate photographs of the artist’s friends and lovers taken over the past two years. These previously unseen images form something of a diary cum queer family album as the willing subjects make themselves available for the camera’s gaze. The camera lingers – in bedrooms, bathrooms and often-watery external environments – over the naked and semi-naked bodies of young men as they are caught in moments of self-admiration and introspection.
Writing in the foreword to I keep mine hidden, Daniel Palmer observes:
“While we might remark the prevalence of mirrors and liquids – hinting at the vulnerabilities and fluidity of a certain kind of youthful male sexuality – above all, it seems, these are simply images of pretty young men who have been persuaded to pose by a friend who likes to look… This is photography as a desiring machine and a tool to become other, reminding us that as much as photography concerns identity (from the family archive to the mug shot) it functions even more effectively as fantasy.”
Indeed Drew Pettifer himself, has stated
“… this series focuses on the relationship between masculinity and vulnerability. As a queer man photographing mostly straight male subjects there is a strong element of sexual desire within these works. Much of the subsequent ‘impersonation’ of identity therefore revolves around the performance of masculinity and homosociality in response to the queer gaze”.
Published by M.33, Melbourne, 2011
64 pages & an inserted full colour A3 poster
210 x 150mm
With a foreword by Daniel Palmer, Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University, Melbourne.
Designed by Darrren Sylvester
Hard Cover: $30 (+gst within Australia)
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