B Shot by a Stranger 2012
“B Shot by a Stranger” - A Satellite Experiment - is a photograph’s project by Gonzalo Bénard.
"Their plans were just cancelled and they’re home alone. Usually they go out and meet friends. Not this evening. They turn on their laptop, put some music on, and subconsciously they’ll start searching for something easy that will make them feel better. They talk to a stranger in an online chat room as if they were meeting him at a bar. They feel safe because they’re home. They prepare a drink. A snack. They talk. They share.
For the subject it’s so much easier to share with a stranger who will not judge you. They know that they’re being shot. They feel good doing so. They feel that you are someone giving them the attention they need at this moment when they feel lonely. They expose themselves. They play. They laugh. They talk. They pose. Naturally. Being themselves, feeling safe, shot by a stranger. A stranger that they can trust.
Gonzalo Bénard is the stranger that is shooting - a long distance voyeur - young volunteers who are lonely in their homes; the process becomes a kind of sociological game - Bénard becomes the witness of their solitary habits. Shooting the screen via a webcam, like a security camera, he records their private moments, never leaving them while they cook, shower, read, drink, play, sleep or dance alone in their own private places. Worldwide."
printed photos available: 50cmx50cm - numbered 5/5 - signed
B Shot by a Stranger was published as a book last April; it can be previewed and purchased here.
When I first started creating this project in my mind I had no idea how interesting it would be, and especially how much I could learn from it - in so many ways. What I learned about people, about human feelings, the subjects’ reactions, how they face emotions, how they (we) grow up building our own rituals to survive emotions, or how psychological or sociological this became. Also, bringing a new meaning to what is it to be a photographer.
A camera has always been a tool of voyeurism; I’d not realised that before. Till I started the B Shot by a Stranger project . . . and stretched the boundaries. Street photography can be as voyeuristic as shooting a model posing. A war or disaster photographer catching moments of pain and distress uses the camera as voyeuristic tool too. But none of this can go as far as watching someone in their vulnerable, intimate, nude, private, lonely moments.