I just want to know my daughter better

Samuel Fordham (1987 - )

C-type photograph on paper on aluminium


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© Samuel Fordham

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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection
    Samuel Fordham has shared the following about this photograph:The screens in the photograph are playing videos and screen recordings of my video call conversations with my wife and daughter. The long exposure means the camera has seen all of the videos, though we as an audience behind the camera are presented with the artifice, the technology and not the illusion of the videos themselves. [...] I made this piece as part of my long-term project, C-R92/BY, which looks into the effects of the Minimum Income Requirement (a non-EEA national spousal visa requirement) on British citizens and their international spouses. I was studying on an MA in photography at the time and was going through the process of getting my wife settled status. It occurred to me that if we did not meet the MIR and my wife was deported, our lives would be mediated by digital images, our whole relationship would play out through the illusion of the image. The slippage between truth and fiction is a key theme of this piece and of the wider body of work.
    This particular work looks into my mental state of constantly returning to videos of my wife and daughter in a vain hope to feel closer to them in some way, but ultimately never being satisfied emotionally or physically. It seemed apt to communicate the cold and silent hand of technology through the camera.
    The title came from a speech from an applicant who had been deported and couldn’t see his daughter anymore. All of the image titles in the project are verbatim. I wanted to bring in the voices of others into the work, but in a less visual way.
  • About the artist
    Born in Guildford, Samuel Fordham is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography, text, video and sound. Fordham’s work considers personal and collective identities through structures of image distribution, engagement and meaning. He first studied at the East 15 Acting School, London (2005-8), followed by an MA in European Classical Acting, Drama Centre London, London (2008-9), and an MA in Photography, University of the West of England, Bristol (2017-19). His work has been selected for awards and exhibitions including the AOP Emerging Talent Award (2020); Paris Photo Carte Blanche (2019); Magenta Foundation Flash Forward (2019); ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’, Leeds Art Gallery and South London Gallery (2019, 2020); and ‘Foundations’, Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol (2018). Fordham lives and works in Bristol, and alongside his practice, is course leader on the BA (Hons) Documentary Photography and Print provision in Bristol for boomsatsuma / The Royal Photographic Society.
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  • Details
    I just want to know my daughter better
    C-type photograph on paper on aluminium
    height: 100 cm; width: 80 cm
    Purchased from New Contemporaries, January 2020
    New Contemporaries, London UK; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 7 January 2020
    GAC number