HOW MANY DO YOU WANT ME TO KILL?
2018 - 2019
This is a short exercise in the problematics of documentary veracity. The project began with some eyewitness photographs taken when I visited my partner’s family farm in Italy.
A week after my arrival one of the men on the farm said “Tomorrow morning I’m going to kill some rabbits. If you want to come along, it could be interesting. For your photographs.”
“How many are you going to kill?” I asked.
“How many do you want me to kill?” he replied.
Returning over several visits, I began to take direction from the family as to what they considered photogenic in themselves and their surroundings. At the same time I continued my observational photographs. Additionally, I made a number of constructed images, often re-staging things I had seen but had not been able to photograph at the time.
These different modalities – participant-led; eyewitness; constructed – destabilise notions of an authentic documentary. Through diptychs and triptychs the different modalities are placed alongside each other, inviting the viewer to speculate as to their means of production. The form also speaks to the pervasive religiosity of the mis-en-scene.
Moving beyond the binary of fact and fiction, the series unfolds into a dark pastoral where the picturesque is constantly under pressure from death and decay.