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Photography (MA)

Emil Lombardo

My name is Emil, my pronouns are he/him, and I am an Argentinian-born and London-based photographer. Before moving to the UK, I lived in Paris, where I obtained an MSc in Computer Graphics at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 2010. While completing my science degree, I started taking portraits as a self-taught photographer and practised for ten years before beginning my Photography MA at the Royal College of Art. 

My practice is concerned with body politics and gender, representation and visibility of dissident identities.My work embodies both documentary and activist notions. I use the camera as a tool for promoting equality and positive change. I confront the cisgender gaze and hegemonic heteronormativity by subverting the fetishized eye of the apparatus. Working with my community helps form a collective, internal and unbiased perspective of our representation within photography. Throughout my practice, I employ a large-format camera accompanied by a process of slowing down – allowing me to develop a relationship with the individuals I photograph. I am interested in documenting the lives and accounts of others as well as the frequent intersections with my own experiences. In this sense, I regard my practice as a method of exploring my own gender identity and sexuality.

While my photographic series occupy gallery spaces, they are also housed in ad-hacking and street art campaigns with which I aim to raise further questions of access and privilege.

Image banner: Luca - they/he/she

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Photography (MA)

During the Covid-19 lockdown, I cycled to different parts of London to photograph trans and non-binary people outside of their homes. An Unending Sunday morning is a photographic documentation of our unique experiences and feelings of isolation, separation and struggle. Although this body of work focuses on the effects of the global pandemic, I am interested in how these atemporal emotions exist outside of this specific period of time. The work could resemble a collection of spontaneous encounters with individuals who gaze at the lens outside or near their homes. Hence the large-format black and white photographs suggest a potential parallel reality, in which these portraits might or might not have been taken on a calm Sunday morning.

Between January and April 2021, I cycled 600 kilometres and photographed forty-five people. With each meeting and photograph, I also delved into their stories and our shared experiences. The process of making these series is as significant as the results – from the email exchanges, to bike rides in challenging weather conditions, to the development of the films in my kitchen. The series also acted as a coping mechanism, a space for reflection and a way of remaining optimistic despite the challenges posed by the health crisis. The project's title comes from this continuous and peculiar sense of time developed as a result of the pandemic – where each day of the week feels like a "never-ending Sunday morning".

Donna - they/them
Danni - they/them
Shay - they/them
Silver - they/he
Victoria - she/her
Luca - they/he/she
Jo - they/them
Casey - they/them
Jack - he/they
Alon - they/them
Igi - they/them
Angie - they/them
Ellis - they/them
Kai - they/them
Al Quinn - she/her
Genie - they/them
June - he/him
Tommy - they/them
Shiva - they/them
Drucilla - they/she
Luca - she/her
Lori Mae - she/her