Accompanying the photographs is an essay by critic Lauren Berlant, which presents an aesthetic and cultural analysis of the contemporary images of romance and intimacy. Berlant contemplates the burden of clarity that sexuality bears, implicit both in conventional romantic ideals and in the "counterpolitics of the flesh" that desires to escape them. Thus arises the sublime ordinariness of Letinsky’s couples, Berlant argues: "As ’normal’ pleasures themselves become deemed modes of domination, the already destabilizing aspects of sexuality can feel even more unsettling." An interview between Letinsky and Berlant unfolds the artist’s intellectual formation while exploring the unsettling and pleasurable power of her images as they circulate through the domains of romance, sexuality, and contemporary culture.
112 pages | 46 color plates | 11 x 10-1/2 | © 2000