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Belfast Exposed_MG_3922

Belfast Exposed
Anthony Luvera
108 pages
9.9 x 7.9 inches
ISBN: 0952421771

Residency consists of a new series of large-format Assisted Self-Portraits, landscape images of Belfast and documentation of Luvera’s working practice through photographs and production polaroids.

Anthony Luvera is interested in exploring some of the problems of documentary photography and photographic representations of social issues. Since 2002 he has worked on a series of long-term photographic projects with people who have experienced homelessness living in London. Through these projects, and the social relationships upon which they are based, Luvera explores the tension between authorship (and artistic control), and the ethics involved in making photographs about other people’s lives.

As part of Residency, Luvera invited individuals associated with The Welcome Centre and The Simon Community to use single-use cameras to create photographs of the things that interest them and to meet regularly with the artist to discuss their images. Participants were also invited to learn how to use large-format camera equipment, over repeated sessions, in order to work on the production of a self-portrait for the artist’s ongoing series Assisted Self-Portraits. Luvera’s role in this process is to provide technical tuition and support, while the participant/photographer determines when and where the photograph will be taken, and how they, the subject, will be framed. Luvera and each participant then discuss which Assisted Self-Portrait will be available for exhibition.

Belfast Exposed Photography has a long history of facilitating photography workshops with different groups of people and of working with artists engaged in social commentary. We are all-too-aware of how artists, facilitators and participants can feel challenged by the experience of working together to create an articulate and relevant photographic statement. In relation to this, there are a number of aspects of Luvera’s approach that are of particular interest. He develops and sustains long-term relationships with the people that he is working with, establishing trust and building knowledge over time. He emphasises the ‘constructed’ nature of documentary photography; that it is essentially made up; always a record of a selected part of something, selected by someone to say something in particular. Furthermore, Luvera continually questions his position as photographer in relation to ‘participants as subjects’, and the place or role of the camera within the dynamics of that relationship.