“If only I could come closer to you, maybe you would see how beautiful my construction of you is. Maybe you would then fall in love with this construction and finally with me, its creator” – Santiago Perez’s first photobook, If Only I Could Come Closer To You is beautiful. It’s beautiful as a series of carefully selected stills and intimate portrays can be and beautiful as an attempt to open up the concept of love relationships. No wonder that there was a piece of literature that played an exceptionally important role in the creation of Santiago’s project.
“In my early twenties a friend (and lover) gave me the book A Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes as a gift. In his book Barthes explores different figures of speech, gestures, and behaviours employed by lovers. He does this by referencing Goethe, Plato, Proust and Baudelaire among others. Through the book, we understand that the amorous subject, or lover, is not just formed by his individual emotions; that even before it falls for a particular loved object, this love has been impacted by a larger set of cultural, linguistic and visual conventions.”
If Only I Could Come Closer To You is about memory, about nostalgia and about idealism. And Santiago’s photos serve us as a well-needed-reminder that everything will be ok.
Signed copies of Santiago Perez’s If Only I Could Come Closer To You can be purchased through the photographer’s official website.