Fragile Virility (in progress)
The review of gender roles that began in the last century revealed the asymmetric activity of women who claimed their right to be strong and men who partially accepted these changes, but did not force the protection of the right to vulnerability, mistakenly perceiving it as a weakness. In our time, gender norms still regulate the behavior of a man and impose certain obligations and expectations on him. The society continues to monitor the standards established by it by approving their observance and condemning the deviation from them. A man whose behavior does not meet public expectations faces a so-called «emasculation» syndrome that undermines the foundations of his personality, leads to a decrease in self-esteem, anxiety, depression, etc.
Contemporary gender studies contend the need to move from a dominant to natural masculinity, a more varied model of thinking and behavior of men. Natural masculinity can allow such «not male» qualities as emotionality, the right to doubt themselves and their future, involvement in the family and the upbringing of children, change in attitude to their appearance.
“Fragile Virility” project raises the question of the willingness of society to abandon gender pressures and to free a man from a stereotypical set of duties that makes him «true,» but destroys his own identity. The author of the project asks this question also to men who are ready to talk about their right to vulnerability. Shooting naked men’s portraits, the artist also touches on the topic of men’s nakedness, which is still equal to all female and involves passivity and anarchy. The male body becomes more open, is exposed. On many images the face of the participants is visible. That is, it is not about staging with models. The author shoots real men who go to work, have a family and are involved in various social activities.