Fine Art Photography Daily

Joshua MacDonald: Suspension

Portrait week continues with a post by Sarah Stankey…
Joshua MacDonald is an artist based in Toronto Canada and holds a BFA from Ryerson School of Image Arts in Photography. His work has been exhibited at MOCCA (Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art) in Toronto among other venues. Joshua draws lighting, and colour from much of the photographic conventions of cinema. His interest in the arts is not limited to photography and is reflected in his work which spans of film, photography, and music. Joshua is currently investigating portraiture through documentary and travel.

The process of acting creates complex states of identity within the performer: they split into a dual state of both themselves and the character they seek to represent. In this series “Suspension”, actors are photographed in this process of becoming someone other than themselves. Each actor was asked to choose a character and perform this character in their home, workplace, or another familiar setting. Despite the the fact that these portraits are staged, they are in a sense documentary photographs.
This work raises questions about the ontology of portraiture, as well as identity and self-image. The implication is that a traditional portrait, where one attempts to present themselves “truthfully”, communicates less about a subject than one where they are acting a character. At times, it seems we are all more comfortable acting as someone we are not.
Additional Images not in Suspension

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