Hughes-Photography is about discovering life through photography. It means using photography to pose questions about how we live and who we are. It is my way of defining the personal as political. Photography has enabled my portraits and are a connection with people I would have never met without the camera in my hand. I try to meet people without any prejudice and without suspicion. Every meeting is a surprise which I enjoy learning from. Photography is an opportunity to get close to people. Photography facilitates a proximity which usually only friends enjoy.
In my photography, Souvenirs are a way of poking fun at the world in which objects have become signs laden with meanings more important than the original function they possessed. A world in which representation through photography has become more familiar than the concrete, where the cerebral has usurped the body. My photography uses irony to question the way we look at the world. I believe (!) that we interpret the world by creating narratives to explain the things that we see to ourselves and to place them within the social context in which we are constrained. There can be no objectivity because every subject constructs the narrative of sanity from an individual reservoir of memory (conscious and unconscious) which is unique to that person’s experience.
My photography seeks to disturb the process of narration within the individual by introducing elements which require a resetting of the habitual processes of thought. The Souvenirs photography achieves this disturbance through a variety of visual codes which give a pleasurable surprise analagous to joking. The subject is forced to rejig their usual reading of photography – in this case, specifically Travel Photography – to include the ersatz souvenir as a replacement for an historically established sign or icon. This transgressive pleasure is a rebellion against the established order because it accepts the symbolic destruction of the icon. The presence of my left hand in the photography suggests the subjects personal involvement with the act by implying their own. The physical touching of the object reinforces this effect.
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