This week's projects are broadly about identity. Do the people we once were infatuated with define us? How much does a name mean? What happens to the world outside when we are asleep?
Zak Dimitrov, Vera Hadzhiyska and Tony Fouhse invite us to look into their miniature world and we hope you enjoy what you find there.
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Monday, 22 Nov
Zak Dimitrov moved to London in 2015 and by 2018 he had been on over 100 dates. The man he was going out with at the time, Reggie, turned out to be, as cliche as it sounds, his photographic muse, partially caused by practicalities as he had very little spare time, all of which was spent with Reggie, and he had to take pictures for his final MA project.
Later down the line the photographer decided to reconnect with his former lovers. They spoke about their time together, why their relationship unraveled and how life had been since then. Photography brought these people together, once again, perhaps for the last time — this was Dimitrov’s attempt to gain closure. Not forget the past, but close the circle in a way and move on.
Wednesday, 25 Nov
Vera Hadzhiyska, a young Bulgarian photographer who moved to the UK in the early 2010s, investigates the political connotations a name bears with her ongoing body of work With the Name of a Flower.
It examines why Muslims, who have been settled in Bulgaria for many centuries (the country was under Ottoman oppression for around 500 years before it gained its independence in the late 1800s), have been forced to change their name to a more Slavic-sounding alternative, a name that wouldn’t stand out or provoke comments.
Name changing goes deeper than giving up one’s birth name. In a society where being Muslim conflicted with the State’s distorted idea of Bulgarian national identity, having a Muslim name had become undesirable. For many Bulgarian Muslims the change of name came hand in hand with repressing their religious identity.
— Vera Hadzhiyska
Tony Fouhse: While I Was Sleeping
Friday, 27 Nov
The photographer set up motion-activated cameras in various locations near his house before he went to bed and retrieved the results the morning after. By doing so he had eliminated the possibility of his own intervention, thus allowing the camera to simply record the scene. The only man-made decisions were where to put the cameras and which photographs to select.
I wanted to make photographs that were completely unmediated. That, of course, is impossible . . . there’s no way to unlearn, to create photos that are not informed by what has come before. [...]
— Tony Fouhse