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Hey Sailor! New in Town?
Photographer: Kathryn Mussallem
Exhibit Title: Hey Sailor! New in Town?
Location: United States
I turned a lifelong love into an immersive documentary project; spending the last six years traveling across America chasing Sailors.
As a Canadian my interest may have started as a fascination with this exotic brand of hyperbolic American patriotism but as I went from judgmental outsider full of prejudice to a friend, lover, and insider. The stereotype that lured me in became more complex and these Sailors became my world.
I reverse the male gaze and photograph at an intimate distance as I make these heroes nervous. I am putting a personality onto the generic uniformed Sailor that is perceived as a number in an anonymous fleet sent off to war. I am showing these dynamic characters that work hard and play even harder. Nostalgia, cliché and humour guide the viewer through my adventures.
I put on my bright red lipstick, slip on my bright red high heels, I play a character in this performance, I hit the street, I see these boys in white and with giddy excitement I approach… “Hey Sailor! New in town?”
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