Terence Chan Photography


Fetishism means the endowment of an object, action or concept with a religious, mythical or sexual significance which it does not have in its normal everyday use. In modern western culture, it is this last sexual meaning in which the term is most commonly understood. Taken to its logical conclusion, one can therefore fetishize almost anything, and derive some sexual pleasure from it. (If you don't believe me, just make up some apparently unlikely fetish, type it into an internet search engine and see what happens.)

The collection of images here is concerned with this notion that almost anything can be fetishized. While there are other images elsewhere on this site that can be termed "fetish photography" in the sense in which it is now usually understood, the subjects of the images here are depicted out of context (or perhaps in context, depending on one's point of view) - i.e. in their "normal" rather than fetish contexts - in an unsexualized manner; yet a viewer (voyeur?) with a secret fetish would no doubt identify the object of fetish depicted. Some of the fetishes depicted here are very common and obvious, others less so. Indeed, many of the images here depict multiple objects of fetish. The fact that many of the images here also feature elsewhere on this site in very different contexts reinforces this idea that many common everyday objects or actions can be objects of fetish.

The type of "fetish" photography seen here will be familiar to anyone who has ever visited various fetish web sites, many of which feature images similarly displayed out of context, particularly images featuring celebrities. One of the things I find fascinating is the way that photography used in this manner conforms to the definition of fetish itself (art imitating life, perhaps): the idea that photographs originally intended for a very different purpose can themselves become images of fetish.

Festival Goer, Jockstock 2008
New York 2000
Sue 1989
Sydney 2001
Festival Goer, Jockstock 2008
Tattooed Leg 2006
Lynne 2008
Heather (The Gussets) 2008
Roz 2008
Dawnie 2007
Madrid 2005
Miss the Occupier 2008
Mikey & Sarah 2008
Sydney 2004
Lynne 2008
Still Life with Fetish Objects 2008
Still Life with Fetish Objects 2008
Shoe 2008