Anthony Luvera: not going shopping
For a unique collaboration of sorts, Anthony Luvera created not going shopping, which brought together eleven people to create portraits of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Brighton. The result of the collaboration ended in photographs of each member, and a zine-like record of their exchanges and discussions commenting on queerness in their community.
Not only do I admire the collectiveness of this project which displays a great sense of direction from Anthony, but also I appreciate the exhibition process. This included sharing the portraits as street art, blowing up their faces, and pairing them with a short but bold statement. Each poster reveals three separate reactions from the participants, which plays with gaze and seriousness, allowing glimpses into their character. The size of the work is hard to miss, and if the newspapers were overlooked, the large wheat pasted posters were not. These two elements, in the end, create interaction with the LGBT community, both through location and through take-away objects, which strengthens and expands the ongoing conversation.
Anthony Luvera is an Australian artist, writer and educator based in London. His photographic work has been exhibited widely in galleries, public spaces and festivals including the British Museum, London Underground’s Art on the Underground, National Portrait Gallery London, Belfast Exposed Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, PhotoIreland and Les Rencontres D’Arles Photographie. His writing appears regularly in a wide range of publications including Photoworks, Source, Photographies and Hot Shoe. Anthony lectures for a number of institutions, including Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London College of Communication, University for the Creative Arts Farnham and University College Falmouth. He also facilitates workshops and gives lectures for the public education programmes of the National Portrait Gallery, Barbican Art Galleries and The Photographers’ Gallery London.
Anthony is interested in exploring some of the problems of photographic representations of social issues. Since 2002 he worked on a series of long-term projects with people who have experienced homelessness living in cities and towns across the United Kingdom, including London, Belfast, Colchester, and most recently Brighton. Through these projects, and the social relationships upon which they are based, he explores the tension between authorship (and artistic control), and the ethics involved in making photographs about other people’s lives. His first book Residency was published by Belfast Exposed and his most recent publication Queer in Brighton, co-edited with Maria Jastrezbka, was published by Photoworks and New Writing South in February 2014.
not going shopping
Throughout the process of making not going shopping, a public blog was kept from the first meeting through to after the exhibition. 4,000 copies of a 16-page newspaper, containing excerpts from the public blog and our private Facebook discussions alongside documentation of the making of the Collaborative Portraits, were distributed free across Brighton & Hove. The Collaborative Portraits were displayed on large-format posters in outdoor public spaces across Brighton. In addition, photographs made by participants and the Collaborative Portraits are featured alongside excerpts from oral history interviews and ephemera related to the cultural heritage of LGBT* people in the Queer in Brighton anthology which I co-edited with Maria Jastrzebska. Each of these different presentations show various aspects of not going shopping and the collaborative process that forms the work.
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