What both amazes me and terrifies me about photography is that we are forever preserving a moment in time that could have died. We take a slice in time that could have normally passed, and make it live forever. I am obsessed with the idea of a photograph. At what point does a piece of otherwise regular paper turn into a photograph? What can be considered a photograph? If a photo is ripped does it have any less value than if it were whole? If I were to paint on a photo, is it considered a painting or a photograph? My project aims to push at the traditional format of what is classified as a photograph and see if it is still recognizable as a photograph. I am focusing on portraits, and by painting over the faces I alter what was once a traditional portrait. What is the point of a portrait if you don’t even see the face? Is it still a portrait?
My title is also another big part of the project. The word “lluniau” means photograph in Welsh, and I think it is a perfect representation of what this project is aiming to achieve. Before you knew what “lluniau” meant it was just a word that had no meaning or value to you – basically a sound. But the moment you found out that it meant “photograph” in another language it suddenly had meaning and you then thought about “lluniau” in a new way. This is exactly what I mean when I ask at what point does a photograph become a photograph. Before it is classified as a photograph it is just paper with ink on it. But then something happens and then it has a name and meaning and it is called photography.
This project may never be finished and that is okay with me. There may not even be an answer to what I am looking for. I only hope that this makes people start to ask questions and think.