Documents of the Disturbed. Alva Bernadine, New Photography

A very suburban sort of smut permeates Bernadine's latest series

Not even a nipple showing, and yet Alva Bernadine continues to evoke submission, smut, and something more disturbing in his newest series of photos.

There is certainly a mood evoked in his works which extends beyond sexual fantasy and the visual tropes of submission/domination/voyeurism/titillation.

Is it a domestic despair, an ennui, or perhaps a disillusionment with the artifice of the beauty myth which permeates the subjects of his ostensibly straightforward fetish shots?

‘There is always an odd event in my pictures and a certain tension.’ – Alva Bernadine.

Perhaps they are merely the artefacts of a pornographer – a title Bernadine embraces enthusiastically, even if his images are more meticulously contrived than the standard. Nevertheless, in these images, bored acquiescence is portrayed as a virtue rather than an unwanted occupational hazard.

In his own words: ‘My work is self-indulgent without being impenetrable.’

Which doesn’t mean it’s not interpretable.

Alva Bernadine, Instagram



Sean Keenan
About Sean Keenan 164 Articles
Sean Keenan used to write. Now he edits, and gets very annoyed about the word ‘ethereal’. Likely to bite anyone using the form ‘I’m loving….’. Don’t start him on the misuse of three-dot ellipses. Divides his time between mid-Spain and South-West France, like one of those bucktoothed, fur-clad minor-aristocracy ogresses you see in Hello magazine, only without the naff chandeliers. Twitter: @seaninspain

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