FURTHER DISCUSSION OF TOM SUHLER'S PHOTOGRAPHY
"Plato's text, The Symposium, consists of speeches in praise of Eros by a group of notable men at a banquet. Aristophanes, the comic playwright of ancient Athens, uses his time to explain the origin of our desire. Once upon a time there were three kinds of human beings: male, descended from the sun; female, descended from the earth; and androgynous, with both male and female elements, descended from the moon. Each human being was completely round, with four arms and four legs, two identical faces on opposite sides of a head with four ears. They walked both forwards and backwards and ran by turning cartwheels on their eight limbs, moving in circles like their parents the planets.The gods on Olympus felt threatened by these unruly and powerful creatures that might someday scale the heavens. The gods debated what to do about these creatures. In the end, Zeus acted and split the humans in half dividing their power.
Aristophanes explained that when we find our other half, we are 'lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy' that cannot be accounted for by a simple appetite for sex, but rather by a desire to be whole again, and restored to our original nature." Tom Suhler
This story in part was the inspiration for the images in the series "The Symposium": ancient humans before and after Zeus' intervention.
What would it be like to live in the clouds?
Moving through them
Sitting on them and in them
Would there be an up or down?
What would your world look like?
What would it look like to observers from the ground?
These are just a few of the ideas that conceived this collection almost 10 years ago. During the last 18 months many different narratives have been explored and and completely different environments have evolved in the studio. All of this done on set without the need for digital manipulation of these images.