Drawing from the perspective of the absurdist, “But The Eyes Are Blind One Must Look With The Heart” considers the conflict between the human tendency to seek meaning in life and the inability to find any. Using Craigslist Casual Encounters and Backpage.com as a vehicle of anonymity, Ratzlaff connects with pseudonymous suiters in pursuit of sexually charged clandestine interactions with others operating under similar intentions and goals in mind.
The work deconstructs the romantic fantasies presented in the form of personal ads found on these anonymous platforms, as well as providing an introspective examination of conversational dialogue formed over time between Ratzlaff and those photographed. Hoping to confront the viewer with these phantasmic attempts, a collision between fantasy and reality occurs within the text and photographs.
In turn, creating a space dictated by pleasure and lust behind the veil of discretion. the present and future. Though the focus of my work is rooted in the past, I look not for grief’s causes but for its presence.