I am really interested in Anthony Luvero’s work. The images below are from his ‘Not Going Shopping’ project.
I find the tension between those two one of the most interesting aspects of extending documentary and photojournalism––and it has come to form the essential question of my PhD thesis, which is basically: How can we continue to utilize the visceral, affective visual language of documentary photography to activate for social change, while democratising the process of creating those images with people, instead of of people?
I think Gemma has a really interesting point here. I’ve looked at how we can balance the power between author and subject I looked it it more in depth in this post - https://www.chrischucas.com/crj2/2017/2/11/rethinking-photographers?rq=power
Luvero’s ‘Not Going Shopping Project’. he works with the LGBTQ community. His process involved collaborating with the community in Brighton and keeping a public blog with conversations and images made with those involved. Luvero also works with text and I love the human element that the hand writing brings to it. That seems to be his main goal to humanise the participants in very democratic way. It’s very tricky because most socially engaging documentary photography can tend to be very sensational playing into the intended audiences which I think can be a bit much and also shut down the dialogue with emotionally charged images that can be harder to reach someone of an opposing view.What Luvero has done with this work is very democratically show a community through images. He’s then used his community based blog and newspaper to reach the community. I really love his newspaper method it’s a great way to connect with people that are familiar with the medium, it can engage people in the community that might not go to a gallery or pick up an art book. What I love about it is that it is accessibly.
What I love about his work is the honesty that you can get from it. He’s blended a very almost scientific way of portraiture and the multiple images with the use of the hand written text adds a very personal touch but in a way that gives the images a credibility and truth-fullness which is key to his intentions of telling these peoples stories. When placing my own work with his I can see some cross over, I work with text from the community that i work with. That community started out with the people like me that love a kind of music but the more my project has progressed I realise that it’s not exclusively bound to the music, the music reflects the sentiment for sure but I am realising that I’m trying to say things about my generation. We are the generation that have been left to figure it out, burdened with our historic levels of poverty, cut services, and a rise in right wing facisinm, times are pretty bleak. But there is a glimmer of hope within these pockets of community that can band together and look at it all for what it is.
I have experimented a lot with different prices and ways of working with text and right now I think the dyno labels are by far the most effective. I don’t like to lock myself into a definite no so I experimented with a process inspired by Luveo.
I feel that it’s a very rudimental work and it would take a lot of development to get it to a high enough standard. I used a set list from “Useless Wooden Toys Band in Penzance, I used images taken from the journey down as well as images from the performance. I think it lends a little from cinema in the way the audience piece together the information. What I also like with this process is the endless possibilities one can get from piecing together the text with images alone or together, i think it’s a very human thing to try and figure the story out with the visual information given.
At this point in the course I need to be realistic with my outcomes. This is defiantly something I want to revisit in the future.
I wanted to look a little more at the balance that Luvero stirkes with the work in a very calm toned down almost scientific way of recording portraits with the hand written text element.
I think if I were to look at one my images
I think my portraits a slightly similar to Luvero’s in the framing and lighting. Although I shoot digitally and he works more with film. I personally try my best to use a softbox as much as I can to give the soft roll of of shadows on the subject as well as try and get a catch light in the subjects eyes. It’s just something I’ve challenged myself to do to improve the quality of the work, I don’t think it adds anything and the images would work without them I just like the challenge.
Like Luvero I am using text in my work, I definitely think that it adds another element to it and the collaborative nature of using other peoples words to enhance the work which hopefully says something about this generation. Where I would say that I differ i that I try and place some cinematic inspired emotion into some of the other images ( something I feel he has tried hard not to do). It’s for that reason that i feel the label font works better for my work as it is more formal than handwriting but not as formal as a designed magazine graphic.
I like to lend from cinematic inspiration when making these constructed images. My main goal with them is to convey a feeling. Sometimes it’s a very personal one that might not be obvious to the viewer but I intentionally allow there to be that vagueness to give freedom to the viewer to build there own narrative. I do use text that is in somehow inspirational to me, i might have listened to it at the time or i might be thinking about it whilst constructing the images afterwards. That freedom is important to me and I’m happy to explain and give context if asked and could possible do that via a blog post like Luvero does with his work.