Marc thank you very much for giving us the interview. Let's talk about your beginnings. When and how do you approach the world of photography?

Photography was a terrible mistake. Okay, maybe not so bad but definitely an accident. I hadn’t planned to be a photographer, I didn’t study or make any real effort to learn how to use a camera properly. Rather I had a camera, I took some photos of a lover one evening, whilst we were looking for ways to entertain ourselves, and to my surprise the photographs that came from this event were okay.

So I started taking more and continued this way for a while, not taking anything seriously or really considering myself to be a photographer, with word of mouth about my work slowly getting out there leading to people approaching me wanting to appear within the images I had begun creating.

I had a deep interest, as a lot of us do, in art, literature and cinema and had wanted to find a way to express myself. Photography made itself known to me and I begrudgingly accepted it’s invitation. I began to take the discipline more seriously and started including deeper themes inside of my images, my love of surrealism, a cynical take on the erotic imagination, my own fairly dark sense of humor and the occasional splash of nihilistic angst.

Your photos challenge preconceptions about sexuality and highlight the usually relegated desires of the unconscious. This denotes your free and instinctive soul. How would you describe your photos and yourself?

I’m slightly contradictory when it comes to my work and my own opinions on sexuality. On the one hand I take the matter very seriously and think that our libido and therefore our bodies instinctual desire of perpetuation, plays far more of an important role in our civilisation than it is often given credit for.

On the other hand, I think that whilst this is true, it is also entirely ridiculous so like to mock and undermine the concept. Whilst isn’t to say that my work is intended to be comedic. Rather, I like to involve a host of different feelings, emotions and moods, taking erotic imagery as a starting point, a building block.

Working with short film allows more room to expand upon these narratives. My photos always hinted at little stories and I have very much enjoyed having this extra space to bring the situations to light.

In some shots there is another ingredient of your photos,the irony, This manages to join in a natural way to the strong erotic charge of your photos and models you choose. How important is the irony factor in your photos and in life in general?

I am often surprised that more people don’t pick up on the sarcastic nature of a lot of my photographs and particularly enjoy rolling my eyes when someone accuses me of misogyny.

It’s fine for people to not get the joke or have their own interpretation and I appreciate them taking the time to view my output, even if they go on to decide that it is not for them.

The photographs are largely improvised. I might have a few props laying around or some rough ideas floating in the back of my mind, but the still images are very much off the cuff. I guess it is just part of that subconscious world view and personality that an artist can’t help but project into their creations.

This is in direct contrast to the short films, the scripts of which I spend many months agonising over, rewriting and even changing in the middle of production. My work has been described as Nihilistic Pornography in the past and whilst I don’t consider my stuff to be pornographic I’m not entirely averse to the label.

The black and white is always present in your shots, as well as your movies. Even your video is very dark as a visual aspect. What is the personal and cultural journey that led you to carry out your work as we know them?

We have a limitation and an intention to thank or blame for this. When I began I was using film and as such started out developing and printing my own work. This is a far more straightforward process if working with black and white than with colour and as I am inherently lazy I continued with this method for the sake of simplicity; developed a style I was comfortable with and stuck with it.

Stylistically, I’ve always been fond of black and white movies, often subtitled and so I guess I embraced these tropes subconsciously and used them as an inspiration for my own style: Bergman, Godard, Buñuel...Kōji Wakamatsu’s “Go, Go Second Time Virgin” with it’s own depictions of sex, suicide and existential dread is a particular favourite.

I often wonder if it is ridiculous for an English director to make films in Icelandic and French rather than using his own language because he enjoys black and white movies with subtitles?

I’m fairly sure it is entirely ridiculous. I’m also fairly sure I don’t care.

Not just photographs but also films. If you had to choose one of the two arts today, which one would you choose and why?

Definitely film as every asshole is a photographer these days.

I will always be a little bit salty that the art of photography has been rendered basically irrelevant by the mobile phone and a social media drenched world that bludgeons us to death with so much content, so many derivative images and indistinguishable projections that original voices and thoughts are lost within a mediocre soup.

And I also enjoy film a lot more, so there is that too.

Film allows me the pleasure of writing, shooting the material, the edit and then the music, which I largely compose myself. It’s a long draining process, but one which I find very satisfying, rather than photography which in comparison is a simplistic endeavour for me that doesn’t provide anywhere near the same challenge or sense of accomplishment.

Also it’s expensive to exhibit photography, but sending a file to a film festival in Hong Kong is free. So not only am I sarcastic and cynical, but I am also cheap.

Pleasure, melancholy, restlessness are some of the aspects of your work. What are the themes of your films and how do you choose them?

I mean, I’m not a particularly happy soul, but that’s nothing particularly unusual for anyone. I learnt during my adolescence that sex and the pursuit of sex are solid distractions, effective at deflecting melancholic tendencies and this very theme has stayed with me up until now, notably explored in my last film “Fucking Doesn’t Help”.

I like to play around with the idea of the observer and the observed - the symbiotic relationship between the voyeur and the exhibitionist and how they feed off each other with their demands for attention and satiation.

There is no need to join all the dots for those exploring my work, but the notion of distraction has always been important to me and I like to confront viewers with their own desires and maybe help them view their libidos with scorn and ridiculousness too.

It may be apparent at this stage that for a mythos based on the erotic, my work is not particularly sex-positive. This sounds like a contradiction, but that’s fine as I enjoy being awkward.

Someone once described my work as though “directed by David Lynch with a hard-on” and whilst not completely accurate, I’m not entirely averse to this label either.

Eroticism and pornography. What definition would you give for these two words?

Christ, porn has grown so mundane and commonplace these days that both terms seem to have lost much of their meaning. The erotic, the tease, the sensuous, and so on and so on - these were notions that people would turn towards as they could not see the things they wanted to see, being protected from such misadventure under the veil of taboo.

Now that porn has blown such cute concepts out of the water, I’m not sure where Eroticism stands other than being the name of a great book by Bataille that those interested in some of the ideas I explore in my work might enjoy.

Disappointed Virginity is the name of your website, why did you choose this name?

It’s an obscure reference to Michel Foucault. I’ve fallen out of love with Foucault as I have gotten older, though still share the passion he had for Nietzsche.

I enjoy the ambiguity of the term though and have been particularly delighted at the ridiculous ways a few critics of mine have attempted to interpret a nod towards a homosexual male, saying far more about themselves than me in the process.

Thank you again for the interview Marc, we say goodbye to you with one last question. Do you have plans for the future and new videos you're working on?

I am getting very particular over my own work and have two half finished films, “Tender” and “The Limerent Object” which I scrapped before completion due to my own fussiness .

As well as these projects which will most likely not reach any public eyeballs, I am sitting on scripts for two new films, one of which, “The Divine Right of Stagnation”, I hope to make a start on shortly. It’s an ambitious project as I begin to get ideas above my station, but I enjoy pushing myself and am very pleased with the script I have and where it can take me creatively.

Thank you for your questions.

I was just joking about my pessimism towards sex all along here. It’s a great and fun and wonderful thing that should be celebrated with joyful bravado and not a vaguely sinister force that drives us into self destructive patterns of predictable behaviour that we dress up as a healthy passtime to better live with ourselves and its consequences whilst ignoring the fact that we are biologically led entities with only a vague semblance of freewill.

No way.