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Dads

Camille Lévêque

2014 - 2016

I’ve ironically used photography to convey absence - a media often,

and almost automatically used to reframe memory.

This project very much focuses on highlighting the loss of a relative,

or their missing. As something physical and thus wishes to capture its essence.
By materializing the absence one is undeniably transforming it

into an actual physical form. One might forget features of a face

but remembers the loss or sentiment of emptiness.
I made new family albums from scratch with pictures I'd edit

so they'd be more accurate in telling the story of our life.

Aiming to create a visual discomfort by recreating in a way,

pictures I grew up with.

They could have been thrown away but remained in the albums,

either torn up or cut out which

I’ve always found to be quite a powerful statement.

As if this faceless form was illustrating our education

and shaping our identity. As if we we going to ignore,

to forget this gap in our family story and had forever to visualise its existence. But these new edited pictures didn’t remain in photo albums.

Wanting to create another layer of depth to the project, I placed these images in staged sceneries. By photographing these modified pictures I was giving them a newfound echo in a setting wavering between fantasy and reality. These pictures had to exist in a new dimension in which they were surrounded by my belongings, muddling up the truth and the lies

whether it was in the content or in the setting. Pictures that had never existed in my past where brought to light in this artificial new reality

questioning the place memory was taking

in the process of acquiring my identity.
Dads is a blunt testimony of absence,

a disturbing hole in the most powerful piece of evidence.
You can’t forget what you’ve never known

but can choose to remember its absence.

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