John Paul Evans
Till Death Do Us Part
2017 September 16, 3 pm
As an academic I have been critical of the way photography is used to reaffirm notions of belonging and otherness in relation to family portraiture. As a consequence, there is little photographic evidence of the 28 years that Peter and I have spent together. As Peter is in his late 70s and I am in my early 50s, there seemed to be an urgency to address this in my own mind, and explore alternatives to the couple / marriage / wedding portrait, if nothing other than to leave a trace of our presence in the world. Matrimonial ties is an umbrella title that encompasses various projects and responses to the historical and cultural significance of the couple/wedding portrait in western culture.
The works originated in 2013 with ‘Home and Away’ as a personal reflection on the current state of social change in Britain, Europe and America around notions or definitions of marriage. In this series of images, the couple, my partner Peter and I, were literally presented as ‘outsiders’ looking into the domestic environment as a picture of ‘otherness’ ‘Till death us do part’ is a series of absurd permutations of the wedding portrait. These performative responses to ideas of marriage and domesticity evoke a sense of the uncanny – the ‘homely and un-homely’.