Issue 79 — Summer 2014
The question 'Who is the photographer?' suggests two related kinds of answers. The first answer is that the photographer is probably a straight white man. Emma Campbell here writes about women in photography and, setting out the results of her research in plain numbers, shows that women are under represented as photographers in magazines and exhibitions. This disparity was terrible in the 1970s but it's still not good today.
The second answer is more difficult to explain and is about the relationship between who a person is and the photography they make. Laura Guy asks if there is such a thing as 'queer photography' and if so what it is. Not something that submits to easy definition, Guy nevertheless arrives at an account by outlining who and what could make up this recent history from magazines in the 1980s to artists working today.
An artist that has always used photography as a tool for describing an extremely subjective point of view is Lindsay Seers. Alison Green discusses her work noting that the artist puts "a critical pressure on ordinary types of representation". Photographic portraiture has a long connection with fixing individual identity but Seers seeks to challenge photography's objective status through her subjective approach. We include a series of images from Two Differently Coloured Eyes, which the artist introduces as pictures of 'people with a rare condition called genetic mosaicism, which is caused by the fusion of two fertilized eggs (non-identical twins) at a very early stage of gestation in the womb'.
Lisa Castagner's work addresses the question 'Who is the photographer?' through the methodology behind her series of photographs of babies, Hidden Portraits. "As a photographer, I surrender the control to the parent who seeks the attention of their child and exposes the film. I hide under the blanket and hope that the child feels secure enough in my grip to stay still and not cry." This unusual perspective creates work that explores selfhood as both a woman and a photographer.
A good way to learn who the photographer is, is to hear directly from them about their lives and work. Anthony Luvera has interviewed Sunil Gupta about growing up in India, how his interest in photography and politics first meshed together, his formal photography education, autobiographical self-portraiture and being gay in queer circles. As well as the print interview and images reproduced here the full audio recording of the interview will be available to listen to on the Source website as will a number of other historical interviews that Source has conducted, part of Source's oral history archive.
— The Editors