Luvera gets to know his subjects before photographing them. This empowers them more as participants. Throughout his work he explores subjectivity and attempts to reduce it.
In his new work ‘Assembly’, he has based the project around homeless people in Brighton. To begin the project, Luvera volunteered at a homeless shelter to help out, after getting to know people he asked them questions about their experiences to understand what it was like for them from their perspective. People commonly make stereotypes of homeless people and don’t understand what its like for them. Assembly is a project that shows people the story from the homeless persons perspective, so that their is no loss in translation.
Luvera empowers them more in the project by giving them the shutter release to capture their own personal photograph. Luvera acts as the artist by arranging the shoots, by choosing the gear and encouraging them to be creative. The actual photograph is an assisted self portrait.
‘You can’t avoid subjectivity – Using ideas about collaboration, you combine subjectivities and try and include both, this will reduce subjectivity but not avoid it.’
Luvera, A (2014) Assembly Lecture
He also uses audio of them speaking to emphasise the collaboration and to hear their specific stories. The photographs are merely a presentation of the process, the project is the process and the images give visuals to it.
The idea of empowering people as participants makes people trust the photographs more. If you combine both subjectivities, then it reduces subjectivity, and it creates a trustworthy photograph. I think there is a lot of portraits being take in the world right now, and it is important to make portraits that understand the context and meaning behind a shot. Luvera’s exploration to see whether you can reduce the subjectivity in an image is inspirational.
Not Going Shopping
Not going shopping is a previous project that uses the same methods. Luvera creates a community of people to provide a commentary. The project ‘celebrates the cultural heritage of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender people living in Brighton and Hove.’ (Luvera, A (2014) http://notgoingshopping.blogspot.co.uk/)
The blog emphasises the collaboration and the importance of the project. To see the commentary to go alongside the photographs is inspiring, it really does show the collaboration of the body of work.
I hope to take these methods and apply them to my own practice. To understand the people and give the power in the project, so that the outcome and process is democratic, so that I can reduce the subjectivity of it.