Photography is typically used to convey presence or reframe a memory, but Camille Lévêque (1985, France) turns this idea on its head in the series Dads, highlighting the disappearance of a certain male figure in family portraits. Touching on the subject of an absent father that can affect any family, the series is simple and yet emotional, stirring up feelings of abandonment and grief.
The altered photos, in which the head of the father is always removed from the image, forms a more accurate representation of life, in the artist’s opinion, creating a visual discomfort with the conspicuous blank space. This is made even more obvious by only the head being missing and the rest of the body remaining in place: it is easy for memories of facial features to blur over time, but incredibly difficult to forget loss or emptiness. The photographs are displayed in situ, most remaining untouched, but a few are crumpled or sit behind broken glass, creating a powerful statement: the physical destruction portraying deep-felt emotion and resentment.
Camille Lévêque was one of the 38 photographers selected for the shortlist of GUP#47, our 10th anniversary issue, for which an Open Call was held. The issue is available for order on our webshop.