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Ira Lupu, On Dreams and Screens (2020)

3. June 2021 @ 10:00 - 13. June 2021 @ 20:00

Copenhagen Photo Festival 2021 presents one of its solo exhibitions as part of the FRAMING IDENTITY focal points: On Dreams and Screens by the artist Ira Lupu.

In 2020 and 2021, human relationships have been rendered increasingly remote, occurring over video calls on the other side of a screen. 

On Dreams and Screens investigates how intimate and real we can get through a web camera, and what emotional patterns are likely to be formed after hours of broadcasting on the internet. 

It scrutinizes the liminal space where the physical body transitions into an electronic one, and observes how the virtual gaze seeps into our day-to-day existence. Online webcam models turn out to be experts in the field of screen-based human bonding—their livelihoods depend on it.

I photographed five Ukrainian and one Mexican-American cam girl with experience in online sex work (called webcam models, or cam girls) and talked to them in moments of self-contemplation — in the places of their childhoods, favorite nature spots, and at home: What have they learned? Who are they? What do they have to teach us?

I sought to understand the paradoxical relationship of intimacy and distance, connection and disconnection, in a world newly transformed. As someone who has much experience with long-term, long-distance relationships, these are questions that I have long been asking myself: How do these relationships affect a person’s perceptions? Who do we become when we exchange desires over a keyboard? 

Whilst living in the US, I became exceedingly concerned by the “othering” and fetishizing of Eastern European females in the Western world, while Eastern Europe is one of the biggest online sex work hubs. On Dreams and Screens provides a more nuanced portrait of an Eastern European cam girl, and celebrates her beyond any fantasies or cliches. 

Ira Lupu

On Dreams and Screens is built like a home, with a living room, TV, makeup closet, sofa and a French balcony with a view over the Bedding. In here, you get to experience the privacy of the girl’s lives, behind the webcams. Interviews with the girls will also be playing on the television, so that you get a fingertip feel of what a day in the life of these people is like.

The festival centre and CPF has generously been supported by Københavns Kommune, Det Obelske Familiefond og Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond.


Opening Day: 3.6: 17:00-22:00

4-6.6: 10:00-20:00

7-9.6: 12:00-20:00

10-13.6: 10:00-20:00

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3. June 2021 @ 10:00
13. June 2021 @ 20:00
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Festival Centre
Refshalevej 173c
Copenhagen, 1432 Danmark
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