What do we mean by “portrait” today? How can pictures depict and describe a person’s life? In the photography exhibition As Serious as Your Life, three young photographers based in London display their photographic work on the theme of image and identity.
Emily-Jane Major’s photographs are taken by the police of a heroin-addicted woman in 1980’s and 1990’s New York. After the death of the woman in 1997 these pictures were featured in American anti drug campaigns. In this project Emily-Jane Major, who is present both behind and in front of the camera, seeks to intensify yet give a balanced picture of the anonymous woman’s life and the roles she plays.
Chino Otsuka is interested in the tools and functions of the mind. In the series Imagine Finding Me she works with her own family album by digitally assembling newly taken photos of herself into childhood pictures from 1970’s and 1980’s. The result becomes a double self portrait where the photographer becomes a tourist in her own past.
Liv Pennington’s pictures are about the impossible, but necessary, things that need to be documented in one’s life. For the exhibition at BildMuseet she asked her family, her boyfriend and nearest friends to select a picture that they would give to the police if she were to disappear or be reported to have had an accident. The pictures which Liv Pennington received from her nearest show many different sides, from formal family portraits to blurred party pictures.