Because forever is a long time.
4EVA&EVA is the latest project from photographer and zine maker Indigo Lewin. Following on from He Loves Me Not, a photographic series that explored the obsessive-compulsive nature of love addiction, 4EVA&EVA takes a gentler, more romantic approach. Focusing on real life couples and the visual iconography of romance — kissing and touching — Indigo moves away from those idyllic notions of courtly love in favor of something much more tender and a lot more real. Ahead of the exhibition and zine launch, we talk to Indigo about the meaning of love within our nostalgic generation.
What's the story behind 4EVA&EVA?
My last project, He Loves Me Not, explored the idea of love addiction and toxic fantasy, so I think 4EVA&EVA is sort of a thematic progression — or regression — from that. I wanted to explore something real. Capturing the way in which these couples emoted through kiss and touch was for me, more than anything, an interesting observation on the way in which we tell each other we care. Kissing is a universally recognized act of love; first base and the first boundary we cross…visually speaking, for me, it is the ultimate romantic declaration. It has ended up being a presentation of people, places, and things, which visually evoke romance.
What is it you're trying to convey about love?
What I really wanted was to make an ode to the way we feel when we kiss someone we care about, for the first time or the 100th. There's only so much you can convey in a still image — I've included text and other imagery associated with that sense of blossoming, romantic emotion. I've always been really inspired by the work of Duane Michals; I definitely re-explored his work whilst creating this series and drew a lot of inspiration from his fairy-tale like intensity.
What does love mean to you?
I think forsaking our inner Narcissus and learning how to care as much about another as we do about ourselves must really get the endorphins going; but I'm not sure if love equals happiness or compromise? Either way, I think it has to be unconditional, which is both terrifying and comforting. 4EVA&EVA is more about romance, teenage feelings, playing on the more obvious in love.
How does society's idealized notion of love impacted our generation?
I feel like it has made it difficult for organic progression; it breeds either fantasists or pessimists. It would be nice if we still wrote poetry to tell each other how we feel…but what if you don't look like your Tinder picture? I think we are a generation with access to very convenient sex, which kind of kills the romance. I think more than anything old school, idyllic love notions seem far and few between; we're an incredibly nostalgic generation but we don't really indulge in that much face time. 4EVA&EVA is for the romantics.
Text : Tish Weinstock