Welcome to the Lost Boys journal. This will be a once a week write up about the work: just a walkthrough of where this project came from, how it changed and evolved throughout its production, and the challenges that it presented (and still presents). Feel free to hit me up on twitter (@alexramadan) , and instagram (@alexramadan) to stay up to date. Also, contribute your two cents in the comments.
I started shooting what is now the Lost Boys over a year ago. It began (misguidedly) as a project through which to examine the world of celebrity, but quickly righted itself to look at the experience of young adulthood. I'm going to be posting updates, writing my thoughts, my experiences, and deconstructing photos and the work as a whole.
The Lost Boys follows a group of young men who are active in the gay party scene in Toronto, mostly on Church Street. It is about many things, embodies many themes, and shows experiences that many people can relate to. It's about searching for identity, a search that is performed with various degrees of self-awareness and success. Although being gay is an integral part, it is main subject of the project. Being gay is what many of these guys know best about themselves, it's everything else they are trying to figure out.
The work looks at the contradictions and struggle that young adulthood brings. It examines the role that culture plays on identity: reconciling self-discovery with pervasive group expectations. The party scene is alluring and the dance floor is a great metaphor for that. It is the brightest part of the club, but the brightness is what allows people to hide in its fringe. It's pulsing, and alive. The people in it are timid, unhinged, self-conscious, and conscious-less. The party life is about image, beauty, fantasy, and escape.
This photo, in my mind, is the opening shot. The light and shadows embody the idea of fantasy to me, and also represents their search for identity. Despite the amount of people in the photo, there is no interaction between any of them. Each are on their own, despite being framed as a group. Although not being a telling moment or a strong stand-alone, I think that it encompasses themes that are present throughout the project, and is therefore a strong part of the work. I've found that almost all of the photos that are in the work couldn't be used as stand alones. They fit into the larger story, but no single image so far has been able to encompass the themes project. This one might be the closest, although in a very figurative way.
I am still shooting the Lost Boys. I only need a few more frames to really complete it. I hope people have thoughts and ideas on not only the project, but experiences that can contribute. Engage and fire away.
Next post: Exploring the concept of fantasy.