Through the Lens of Desire by Kris Sanford

Issue 79

Relationships, real or imagined, are at the center of this work. Growing up queer, I searched for a history that spoke to me—included me. In my family history, there were no couples that mirrored my own intimate relationships. That didn’t keep me from imagining such couples.

Through the Lens of Desire creates implied narratives using snapshots from the 1920s- 1950s. Vernacular photographs from that era were created as private keepsakes and the unselfconscious intimacy they depict feels authentic and relatable. As modern viewers, we witness personal moments that were never intended to be public. By purposefully selecting images that picture men together and women together I am creating an imaginary queer past. I am drawn to the subtle points of contact and the spaces between the figures pictured. Each gesture or distracted glance holds a story, and it is these stories that reflect my own desire and experiences. 

This project brings a contemporary rereading to old photographs to address sexuality and relationships in a subtle way. My images are works of fiction, where I project my own dreams onto moments from the past.

Kris Sanford lives and works in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
To view more of Kris' work, please visit her website.

 Flowered Dresses

Flowered Dresses

 Necklace

Necklace

 Like Spoons

Like Spoons

 Cigarette

Cigarette

 Racket

Racket

 Folding Chairs

Folding Chairs

 Polka Dots

Polka Dots

 The Garden

The Garden

 Intertwined

Intertwined

 Boots

Boots

 The Mentor

The Mentor

 Buttons

Buttons

 Lei

Lei

 Well Suited

Well Suited

 Bathing Suits

Bathing Suits

 Fence

Fence

 Hat

Hat