Work / Trabalho - antoniocorreia


How can one simple word carry such diverse meaning? For some, work is dispiriting drudgery - to be endured until the weekend.

For others, work is a calling; a vocation that does not separate the heart from the hands. Work is actually more universal than play, as we must all work (even if that means digging in the trash for food), but we don’t always take time to play. As a result, our work is an activity that defines us in many ways, and to various degrees.

Aside from one’s name, it is the first question in making conversation with a new acquaintance: “What do you do for a living?” Our reply will reflect a lot about who we are: our socio-economic status, our creativity; our aptitude for physical or intellectual interests; our willingness to take risks; our “calling” in life; the list goes on and on.

This is why I am so engaged in this subject. “Work” is all around us, and yet we don’t really stop to look; to see what others do with their lives. I decided that I would stop and look - and then make environmental portraits of individuals doing what they do to put food on the table. In doing so, I discovered that people are often very proud to share their work, or to demonstrate their craft - so it was simply a matter of asking permission to observe, ask questions, and make photographs.

By making portraits that connect the subject with their work I have answered one of the two basic questions: What do you do for a living? The question remains whether they are enduring, or embracing their work. Of course, I am not exempt from this analysis Although photography is now a major part of my life - I am passionate, absorbed, and committed - I have also worked as an architect for 31 years.

Knowing my vocation and avocation tells you a fair amount about me. If I were to share my taste in music, literature, or food, that would add useful details - but nothing describes me quite as much as my work. It’s interesting that creatives (photographers, painters, writers, filmmakers, etc.) often refer to their “work”- meaning their creative endeavors. In this regard “work” is elevated to a creative calling, a vocation, or a passion. It is neither work nor play. It can be the source of great personal satisfaction, or frustration. In this work, I chose to photograph most of my subjects in black-and-white.

By doing so, I direct the viewer’s attention to the expression, posture, and subtle communications of each individual. Of course, there are as many photos to make as there is work that is being done. It is a project that could continue indefinitely, as long as I am interested in doing the work - so to speak.

Text from LensWork 110 - Jan / Fev 2014

Images are printed on premium warm tone baryta fibber paper using archival pigmented printing (Giclée) with long lasting inks and they can not be reproduced without written consent.

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© António Correia - 2017 - / +351 969 067 950 / +1 (415) 625 342 7 /

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