As a part of our maudern people series, we asked New York-based photographer Sharon Radisch for insights on modern intimacy in a time of mandated isolation. She has been featured in Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, to name a few. She is also founder of en ville, a digital platform for fashion, art, and design.
What is your relationship status?
We've been married about three and a half years and together for about six and a half.
With social distancing & quarantine, how has intimacy and human contact changed?
In general, I think both have changed quite dramatically; however, for me personally, it is intimacy that has had the most noticeable change. As far as intimacy, couples, roommates/living partners have been forced to bring their entire lives home. From my personal reference point, as a couple, we are used to working from different locations anywhere from 10-13hrs/day, chatting sporadically throughout the day if our busy schedules allow, and reconvening in the evening for a meal together. With the current shifts, we are now seeing each other's lives, both personal and professional, from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed. Seeing each other through both every aspect of our personal and professional lives, brings a whole new intimacy to a relationship (especially in a 1-bedroom NYC apartment).
As far as human contact goes, I think it is similar for everyone. We are simply seeing less humans. Luckily, with a typically busy schedule, I wasn't used to seeing friends/groups every day or anything like that. I don't quite feel disconnected just yet. However, what has hit me hard is not being able to go outside whenever I wish. I will never take that for granted ever again.
"With the current shifts, we are now seeing each other's lives, both personal and professional, from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed."
How do you make time for intimacy?
Setting aside time to have a nice dinner together and also making time for non-screen activities where we can interact with only each other; in our case, we enjoy playing trivia pursuit.
What is your shared goal of the space (or spaces) you occupy?
Before this crisis, we have been trying to gradually move our workspaces out of our home. Although this is nearly impossible for me since I am a freelancer, we've been trying to minimize the physical space that work takes up in our home. However, that all has changed since we are both now working from home.
What is a new activity you are planning to try?
I have recently taken up sketching on the iPad using Procreate. It makes me feel both relaxed yet productive at the same time. Before my hobby was (and still is) my job (photography), but it has been nice to find something else that I can do at home, that requires less space and materials.
How will you keep busy?
I have a list of things that I would like to work on while I have this time. They range from learning new video editing software, to sketching techniques, to cooking better meals and really just learning anything new that I can. I'm also keeping an eye out for online classes that interest me. Just this morning I took an online class for entrepreneurs. I have also signed up for New York Cares, in case any volunteering opportunities arise, in which I can participate.
Basically, I'm trying to find other ways to create and be active, that are smaller scale and which don't require me to go into my studio right now, since that is not permitted. I love languages—I recently took a 10-week Chinese class and am trying to maintain my (very basic) skills using Duolingo. I also speak French and have been reading mostly in French to keep up my skills.
What is a movie you will definitely watch?
Each night, we've been putting on a comedy, which I half-listen to, while I sketch. It feels nice to lighten the atmosphere a bit with all of the world crises going on. I could always recommend films by Wong Kar-Wai–his movies are some of the few that I find truly inspiring and can watch again and again.