JB: This was the series where I discovered the BDSM part of myself; I knew it was there but I had repressed it. Blue is very personal; I was ashamed at first and it was very difficult to let others see it, but now it’s hard to see what my problem was with it. BDSM is in myself and with my photography – I accepted both with this series.
The Killing series, on the other hand, was not difficult for me – but it was for other people. Some were shocked. It is a story; I made it like a film. The model I used is up for anything.
SDk: Although the theme of masochism is discernible in the Blue series, to us, it doesn’t appear as overt as a parallel theme of, perhaps, one derived from industrial culture: the oppression of the individual by an increasingly mechanistic and oppressive society. What is your view on this interpretation of Blue?
JB: I can imagine this interpretation; it might be what a viewer sees in it and sometimes it’s even the interpretation I give for it. I do not always reveal the real story behind this series, which is my story. And I also like that the viewer has their interpretation and feelings about it. But I also think there is a sort of similarity with these interpretations: in SM I like the loss of identity, being the possession of the other person or in this way a machine. The machine is always controlled by a human being.
SDk: You also model – or, as you say,
“act” – for many of your own shoots, particularly the BDSM–oriented ones. Why?
JB: Yes, I'm acting; they are not self-portraits. I know what I want; it can be difficult to find models and get them to do what I want, so it’s easier to do it myself. I do it when the inspiration strikes me – I just go upstairs and make it, using the remote control.
I do make self-portraits, but I think a self-portrait must tell something about yourself. But, then again, every image tells something about myself, even when I work with a model – like Reyer Boxem wrote [Editor: see Jenny’s profile bio in our Contributor Directory].
SDk: You refer in your SDk profile to “the rawness of existence, that rawness I recognise in poverty, repression”. What are your views on poverty, and on repression?
JB: They're examples of the essence of real life: people who live in luxury have lost touch with real life. My work is about people and emotion, which I see as raw human experience – like the reality of poverty and repression in our world.
SDk: You also mention modern dance in your profile: do you see any similarity between modern dance and photography, and what might those similarities be, especially in relation to your own photography?
JB: They share feeling and emotion. One comment about my photography is
that it portrays “emotional body language”. I’d like to use modern dancers as models… I think fashion models lack this kind of language
SDk: Your profile bio states that “you have to be brave and willing enough to
crawl on all fours”. What do you mean by this – do you mean literally crawling on hands and knees, or being humble and accepting criticism and working hard to be a better photographer and artist?