23 San Francisco
July 17, 2009. 6:55pm
Dir. Travis Mathews: Set the scene for us. where are you, what are you doing, listening to, etc...
Parker: i'm in my room where you filmed me, except it's a really lovely shade of blue now. i have an actual bed and a desk and there is art on the walls. some of it is mine and some of it is other people's. i'm on my bed editing photos. i'm listening to arthur russell
Travis: right! when i shot you, youd only been in that apt for a week or something. it leaves a certain impression that is probably misleading then, huh?
FEELINGS ON THE VIDEO
Parker: i feel like a lot of what was captured of me was misleading
Travis: oh, tell me more
Parker: well, i guess i'm not the only one that thought that either. my friends that i showed it to said similar things. they thought it was beautiful, as did i. they said that it didn't capture my personality as well as some of the other boys you filmed.
Travis: what things did they/you think? how would you have liked to have come across?
Parker: maybe more intelligent and less slutty, and maybe more involved as the others. i feel that i fulfilled a role for the film. i was fine masturbating for you and it was very tasteful the way that you showed it. but, i feel that we spoke about more things than how much of a bottom that i am...and due to time restraints that was scrapped. i understand those things, and am not sore about them. i don't want to insult you or anything, but i do think that it was lovely. i'm always especially hard on myself. i hate hearing myself talking played back like that. it sounds so affected
Travis: hmm, i thought you were lovely, and im sorry if you felt that you were playing a part for the larger piece. like everyone else, with the exception of eli, i knew you for about 5 or 10 minutes before shooting, and we had an hour. i captured what was there. i am planning on putting up short individual video clips of each of you, things that didnt make the final ITR piece, so perhaps that will feel more rounded.
Parker: it's interesting seeing yourself through someone else's eye
Travis: so how did you feel about the cumming on camera: which is not actually shown, btw
Parker: you made it comfortable to do. i've never done anything like that. it kind of turned me on, kind of made me a little nervous. i'm a closeted exhibitionist
Travis: and i'm basically asking you guys to play a speed round of being yourself for the camera.
Parker: a camera in your face and sexual tension in the air.
Travis: how do you think it impacted your shoot to have not know me one bit before hand?
Parker: it was probably better...like having sex with a stranger.
Travis: for just an hour.
Parker: that's all it takes, right?
Travis: takes less than that, but then again, im easy...
Travis: youve got a nice thing going living alone. have you made use of that alone space yet, had some mens over?
Parker: i have a boyfriend that doesn't live here. he came to visit me for 2 weeks at the end of june. it was amazing having him here and not having to worry about being too loud or anything. since he left my boner doesn't work for anyone
Travis: and youre a 1:1 kinda guy?
Parker: no, not at all...but he's hot and i miss him.
Travis: that's sweet. where is he?
Parker: he goes to columbia for mfa film.
Travis: what's his deal, sum him up in less than 5 words.
Parker: graydon is more than five words. that's five words if you don't count his name
Travis: has he seen you in the ITR piece?
Parker: yes, he said i was adorable, but he's supposed to say that.
Travis: i sense that adorable is good with you, but low on your list of compliments you'd like to receive.
Parker: i'm bad at receiving any type of compliment
BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY
Travis: you are adorable and hot and cute and all these things that im sure youve been peppered with for years. do you worry that so much of that could keep people from taking you seriously?
Parker: this is a tricky question. because if i'm not careful in answering it i could come off as arrogant or self rightious. i think people do look at you a certain way when they believe you are those things. and i think sometimes if they think you are those things they might dismiss other attributes that you may have...or in certain cases become jealous or pandering.
Travis: im sure. i would think it also opens up doors for you
Parker: not to my knowledge? maybe? i don't know i'm kind of oblivious most of the time. i never know when someone is hitting on me. i am usually in my own little world and my mind is often going at 500 miles an hour. i worry a lot. more that people realize i think. i suffer from terrible anxiety. graydon was telling me last night that he feels like i am much more outwardly confident than i realize. that even though i am feeling or thinking those things inside i don't show it on my face and i trudge forward anyway. i find him to be very insightful sometimes
Travis: that's good in a bf. he sounds like he cares about you
Parker: he does, he says so.
Travis: Ive noticed that in a lot of your self-portraits youre partially or totally naked and that you tend to wear a face that gives hints of what you're saying about yourself.
Parker: it serves two purposes for me: one is that it helps me to come to terms with myself. helps me to see the beauty that you spoke about earlier. the one other people see. it helps me to feel comfortable in my skin and to examine my outer form as well as my inner form. the second is that i tend to enjoy nudity in photographs (not just myself, but others) because of the considerable influx of "fashion photography" into the fine art photographic realm. i enjoy wearing nice clothes, but i don't want that to be in my work all the time. nor do i want another portrait i take of someone else to be about the clothes they are wearing. i feel like clothing is armor, when we don't have that armor we are more apt to show what is really going on. sure, i could wear a cunty outfit and take a cute picture of it...but is that what i want? not really. i also would like to say that i am nowhere near where i want to be with my work right now. i even hate calling it my "work"..but there's not really another term. it's what i do because i need to do it.
Travis: you're a good photographer. that was one of the first things i told you.
GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH
Travis: i wanted to ask you about your tattoos a little. who is this "peggy"?
Parker: peggy is my grandmother. she died in january. she had been battling leukemia and dementia for a very long time.
Travis: you were close?
Parker: every summer when i was younger i would go to her house in spartanburg, south carolina for a few weeks. we would garden and go to church and swim at the neighborhood pool. i would help her cut the grass and clean out her shed. she taught me how to make the best fried okra in the world, but i can't make it anymore because it doesn't come from her garden. as i got older i stopped going of course. and then she started forgetting things and i got selfish and said it "was too hard to talk to her like that". she stopped remembering too much.
Travis: but you have some lovely memories it sounds.
Parker: yeah, most definitely.
Travis: you mentioned the south, and i know you're from there, how was it growing up there being gay?
Parker: i grew up in south carolina and lived in tennessee for a little while at boarding school. it was...how do you say...fucking awful. i was tormented daily in school. i was different and the other boys knew it even before i knew it, so they tormented me daily.
Travis: that sucks. those are hard scars to let go. and fucking painful
Parker: that's why i do the things that i do now. because i have to. it's also why i'm probably heterophobic.
Travis: you're heterophobic, what does that even mean? youre scared of straight men?
Parker: it's kind of a joke, but kind of not. straight people in general maybe...i find them frightfully weird and boring, very boring and obnoxious.
Travis: i think that about a lot of 'mos.
Parker: well, yeah...that too. but i think there is a difference between gay people and queer people. and i identify more with queer people.
Travis: i do think we have some sort of leg up on being forced from young ages to go into fantasy land and imagine places far away that might be better. it instills an early sense of creativity
Parker: graydon and i were also talking about that last night.
Travis: the creative escape.
Parker: my creativity didn't come until later. it was stifled.
Travis: what helped your creativity to come out then?
Parker: getting sober and then moving here.
Travis: are you sober now?
Travis: i didnt know that
Parker: i know, i don't usually tell people. there's no reason to unless it comes up.
Travis: true, but it must be hard being surrounded with guys who are always drinking
Parker: it's more annoying than hard.
Travis: i can see that distinction
Parker: the biggest turn off is seeing a really cute boy wasted.
Travis: especially when you're not
Parker: i have no desire to get wasted, but i wish it were easier to find like minded homosexuals.
Travis: yeah, not so much
Parker: not here anyway
Travis: what are your plans for the evening?
Parker: i might go to harry potter. i don't know. i'm working on photos.
Travis: cool, well thanks for taking some time to chat and have a good night.
Parker: you too. xx