Alexander van der Heide + Sander Coers
Published by Jap Sam Books in collaboration with MAMA and Research Center Willem de Kooning Academy, 2021, ISBN 978-94-92852-50-2, 124 pages, full color.
This Naked Incident is a deep dive in search of the place that ‘masculinity’ holds in the lives of young people today. The book grew out of a study project in WdKA’s course module Visual Culture, and was editorially co-supervised by the research center in collaboration with Showroom MAMA and Jap Sam Publishers.
The authors Alexander van der Heide and Sander Coers spoke with five peers; all assigned male at birth and all with very different experiences of masculinity and equally different gender expressions. Because what is masculinity? Where it sometimes seems that we have no more than stereotypes to resort to in our efforts to make this tangible, it turns out there are specific moments, charged by the people around you, and the places where you are, that suddenly allow for room to modify the way you express yourself.
The book is designed as an exploration in image and text. Through this journey Alexander van der Heide and Sander Coers come to the conclusion that if masculinity is anything at all, it is fluid. and ultimately they cannot avoid to reveal their own masculinity.
“How much room is there, in society, to be masculine in different ways than the masculine construct dictates?”
The images were shot over a period of three months, in which the makers successively asked their peers to bring an object they associate with masculinity to the shoot, take them along to places where the interviewees feel most at ease, and finally resulting into a portrait that captures the subjects experience of fluidity of their masculinity.
“Masculinity, the customer argues, mostly defines itself in posture and grandness of body. It is a thing you can measure in people. Some people are more masculine than others. They even, on the spot, compare each other and their respective masculinity levels.”
After finishing his bachelor in Art & Design, Alexander van der Heide continued to work as agency curator for VISIONARY Agency in Amsterdam, whilst starting up his own practice as creative producer and makeup artist, specializing in fashion photography. He has thus far worked with and for a.o. Mirror Mirror Magazine, De Bijenkorf, G-star, de Volkskrant Magazine, and Vogue China.
Sander Coers is a photographer based in Rotterdam. The influence of nature in his work is strong, evoked by nostalgic memories of sultry summer days form his youth in Zeeland. While working between his studio and on location, he offers a view into a dreamlike world through intimate portraits and sensual details. By coming up close to his subjects, he allows himself to capture their auras in a dreamy and romantic manner.