A creative who goes by the name Photographer Hal often depicts people in confined spaces. While that might initially sound distressing, Hal’s work points out that this isn’t always the case. His series Flesh Love All was created with a desire to express love in its many forms, from romantic to familial. Only love, he notes, “may have the power to bring all things together, even across race and disparities.” This idea led him to create a space where love is enveloped—literally. The images are of people and their surroundings as vacuum-packed and preserved in plastic.
Shot inside homes and outside of them, the subjects are bound in plastic wrap where all of the air has been sucked away. This distorts their features, mashes their clothing, and often smushes their faces. Most critically, it makes it so they are fused together and cannot independently move. “The things you love will be one,” Hal writes, “and the world will be one. I think that is an ideal form of love.”
Although this might make you feel uneasy—especially if you’re claustrophobic—there is a romantic notion in Hal’s conceptual work. Sometimes we might grow tired or annoyed with the closest people in our lives. After all, they know how to push our buttons. But when faced with the prospect without them, we want to hold them tight and preserve who (and what) we love so dearly. Flesh Love All is an outward display of the deep feelings we keep within.