London: (self-published), 2018.
Condition: As New
Shafran, who lives in London, where the number of rough sleepers has doubled since 2010, began his project in 2016. While obviously aware of location and framing, for the most part he kept the exchange as simple as possible: he would go up to people on the street who appeared to be homeless, ask if they would take his picture, and usually they agreed. It is not about the person in the pictures, but about the person not being shown. “Sometimes, not showing somebody makes you think about them more,” Shafran says. “I hoped it might stay with you, might reverberate, so when you walk past a person in the street it might come back to you. It was my way of addressing the subject, I suppose.” The project made him uncomfortable, he admits, not only because of the obvious difference between his life and theirs, but also because of what it says about his profession. In a way, the book uses photography against itself: a comment on the selfie, the celebrity picture, fashion and beauty advertising and the stereotypical ways that photography aestheticizes poverty. All the artist’s profits from the publication are going to charity. Item #18543