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Photographer Creates Deeply Intimate Moments with Complete Strangers

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The Lovers (no.5)

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Sisters (no.7)

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Sisters (no.2)

Urban environments and handheld technology can make the world an isolating and lonely place, genuine connections often replaced with texts or tweets. How long does it take to gain some one’s trust or become close enough to share secrets? Can intimacy be concocted in mere moments or does it take years? Hemya Moran plays with ideas of communion and relationships in her series Intimate Strangers. Approaching individuals in the street, Moran asked them to have an “intimate acquaintance with her”. They then enacted these private moments in a short exchange, resulting in a series that feels simultaneously unnatural and surreally familiar. The viewer must guess at the relationship, left to wonder at the origin and truthfulness of each staged setting.

The series was shot where ever Moran was living at the time, the photographer forming random connections with individuals from Jerusalem to London. She was frequently drawn to specific people because of a perceived loneliness or fascination at some aspect of their appearance or demeanor. Moran interacted with her subjects often in their personal spaces – capturing bedrooms, bathrooms, back yards and “any place scorched with their personal memory”.

The photographer becomes sister, daughter, friend and lover in a split second, asking the individual participating in the scene to look at her and remember her, giving way to the false moment. The images have a cinematic appeal, each artificial interaction caught in the act of an unknowable exchange. Moran notes the connections she created with these strangers are often modeled after relationships she feels she is failing at in her own personal life. Intimate Strangers speaks to our deep longing for intimacy and the curious discomfort we can have in experiencing it.

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Second Date

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The Beloved Daughter (no.1)

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Mother and Wife (no.1)

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The Girlfriend (no.1)

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Sisters (no.3)

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Picnic (no.2)

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Night Out (no.1)

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No Title (no.1)

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Sisters (no.5)

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No Title (no.3)

All images © Hemya Moran

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