where we laughed


A stylish hotel bed, a romantic lakeside, the lush red interior of a brothel and a sandy beach at night – places inviting people to enjoy each other – with each other.

Not much time passes from first eye contact to first physical contact. Emotional longing for a romantic encounter or pure satisfactory thinking brings people into situations where body fluids are being exchanged.

At times when commercial media are overloaded with explicit erotic and pornography, sex is selling out and becomes a general commodity. HIV, syphilis and other transmitted diseases are spreading across the globe. Having non-monogamous sex is common and culture. It is exciting and adventurous.

Jan von Holleben constructed 20 locations of lovemaking for exactly that: Enjoying sexual encounters with changing partners. It seems as at least two people had fun in his locations. Only that no one actually had sex in these images and actually not even a single person is ever visible. Still these photographs speak of what could have been there and what might have happened. These images document something that didn’t happen but invite at the same time: The viewer fills those images with his own memories, stories and knowledge and creates an erotic scenario in his mind.

All locations are set in Berlin and were researched for this very project. They are places where most Berliners statistically have non-monogamous sex and infect themselves with the HIV-virus. Some of those places are world famous for quick encounters and others stand representative for a multitude of similar locations.

Jan von Holleben’s images do not condemn non-monogamous sex; instead they promote sexuality and at the same time create awareness for the subject matter.