What is intimacy?

What is intimacy? Is it skin against skin? Tongue against tongue? Heart against heart?

A while back I attended a performance named 'Collection of lovers' by Raquel André, and it was this work of art which lead to this trail of thoughts. As she states herself, Raquel is a collector of rare things. Until now she has collected over 137 meetings while traveling around the world, from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, trying to find out what relationships may mean. In each city she has met up with strangers at their apartment with the goal of constructing fictional intimacy to be captured in memory and photographs. Her performance is based around these photos and details, and as the performance travels, it collects more lovers and accumulates new meetings.

 It's almost unbelievable how many ways one can interpret the word intimacy. I believe every person have their own way of defining it. -And if define is to limit, and if we do have as many definitions as there are people, that makes this word perhaps limitless after all.

Something I took with me from "Collection of lovers" is that intimacy is not just reserved for those in romantic relationships. Closeness, affinity, attachment, familiarity, warmth and friendliness are all synonyms. One can therefore argue that eye-contact, a hug and a conversation can be just as intimate as a sexual moment. In other words, intimacy does not only exist in the physical sense but also mentally. It can be letting others see your vulnerabilities, fragility and sensitivity. The utterly free and uncensored you. The person you are when nobody's watching. As you can possibly be! Intimacy is all about sharing your unique nature with another, both "flaws", passions and your favorite parts about yourself. It is sharing the most raw and authentic parts of you, without hiding an ounce of who you truly are.

In the age of social media, we have all seem to have become experts at faking intimacy. However, I believe that in order to experience intimacy in any relationship, we must be open and honest. Because it is first then, that we can truly see the real beauty in each other, as well as developing a deeper connection, love and trust. True closeness with another person might be scary, but there is something so beautiful about deeply knowing another person and feeling deeply known. 

Raquel André, shot by me on 35mm film x

Raquel André, shot by me on 35mm film x