Scarlett Coten

Artist Statement:

"Plan Américain" is the second part of a larger study on the various nuances of masculinity. A prolongation of the work initiated in my previous series, "Mectoub" (2012/2016), this project adds to an exploration of contemporary masculinity and is devoted to a new territory: the United States.

"Mectoub" questioned the traditional depiction of men in the Arab world and relied on the following protocol: I invited men to pose for me and surrender to my female perspective. Similar to "Mectoub", this new chapter, through a series of intimate portraits, aims to give, this time, a unique overview of today’s America - the America of my encounters with strangers who have crossed my path.

The question of personal freedom was at the heart of my project in the Arab world, a subject which is also problematic within the context of the new American presidency. Tackling the notion of masculinity in the U.S. implies an interest in men’s backgrounds and stories and requires a unique consideration of the reality of American diversity. This project, while deeply personal, nonetheless tackles issues of politics and socio-cultural considerations.

Reversing the typical photographic topos, this project offers a female viewpoint on men, a photographic act which transgresses typical societal roles. I choose men on instinct. I am interested in the emotion, which results from a struggle between a man’s surrendering and his resistance and I always photograph them in a confidential location. By engaging with the complexities of my own identity and revealing a process of vulnerability - both the subject’s and my own - these intimate portraits invite us to redefine norms surrounding gender and identity and to rethink notions of otherness.

By focusing on beauty, sensitivity and the vulnerabilities of a gender constricted within the stereotypical expectations of masculinity, my work strives to open new representational perspectives and to consider the necessity of alternative viewpoints.

Joseph, Fresno CA 2017

Stephen, New Orleans LA 2018

Bryan, Palm Springs CA 2017

Charles, Clarksdale MS 2018

Tanner, Nashville TN 2018

Alexandre, Seattle WA 2017

Salvatore, New Orleans LA 2018

Kennie, Atlanta GA 2018

Jeremy, New Orleans LA 2018

Robert, Natchez LA 2018