250MC: Anthony Luvera: Residency project

As part of this module, we had Anthony Luvera come in to talk to us about his projects and work he has done. The main one of interest that I had already known about and briefly looked at was his Residency project which involved the homeless in Belfast. This project wasn’t your typical idea of shooting the homeless in the street like you may see on social media or generic google pictures. Rather, Luvera spent a vast amount of time with his subjects to get to know them better for the people that they were and to learn more about them at the same time. In this anthropological direction, he began to invest a huge amount of back story into his images; he asked his subjects to “take me to a place they found interesting, memorable or significant in some way.” (Luvera, 2011)

2[1] (Luvera, 2008)

Yet his process didn’t stop there at all. Luvera wanted his subjects to have an active role in the image making; he wanted to ” blur distinctions between the participant as a ‘subject’ and myself as the ‘photographer’ during the photographic sitting.” (Luvera, 2011) Too often as photographers do we take an image without thinking what the subject may be thinking; is it right? Are we portraying the right truth? Are we making them even feel comfortable? Luvera changed this by allowing the subjects he worked with to get to know the large format camera he was working with, so that when it came to the final process, they were entirely comfortable with their picture being taken, allowing them to fully express themselves. What is being displayed here is the level of trust that the subject has placed into Luvera throughout his time working, helping them and teaching them during his time.

13 [2] (Luvera, 2008)

To me, what I find the most interesting with this whole project is how Luvera builds up this history with the subject. He doesn’t rush into the images straight away, but rather he builds up his own knowledge on the subject, fully informing him so that he can make a fully appreciative piece. For my project, I don’t think it is as easy to do this, as many of the watcher owners have presumably passed away, so I would just be getting second-hand information possibly. However, what I can do is look at various pieces of research that can allow me to appreciate the watches in their beauty and detail more as well as their craftsmanship.
For me, this project is more focused on the stories the watches tell, so what I can possibly do is ask people who have the watches questions like: Who owned it? Who made it? How long did they have it for? Did they have it on them during any significant event? Has it ever been damaged?
Questions like these will be the way that I can fully understand the significance of the watch, and begin to appreciate the value that it holds.

 

Luvera, A. (2008). Caroline McDonnell/Anthony Luvera, Assisted Self-Portrait of Caroline McDonnell, Residency, 2006–2008.. [image] Available at: http://www.luvera.com/residency-photographies/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014]. [1]

Luvera, A. (2008). Sean McAuley/Anthony Luvera, Assisted Self-Portrait of Sean McAuley, Residency, 2006–2008.. [image] Available at: http://www.luvera.com/residency-photographies/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014]. [2]

Luvera, A. (2011). Residency (2006-2011) – Anthony Luvera. [online] Anthony Luvera. Available at: http://www.luvera.com/residency/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014].

Luvera, A. (2010). Residency – Anthony Luvera. [online] Anthony Luvera. Available at: http://www.luvera.com/residency-photographies/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014].

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