The concept of love has been the driving force behind the creation of some of our greatest works of art, our best-known philosophies, and our most severe behaviours. While Webster’s Dictionary defines love as “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person,” this uniform definition precludes our understanding that the human experience of love is varied.
Angela Fama began What Is Love in response to this standardized definition. With the aim of unifying communities’ past perceived differences and together redefining the word “love,” in May and June 2015 Fama and her assistant, Joel Tong, visited more than twenty locations across Canada and the United States. Using the same setup for each portrait session within her travelling RV studio, Fama sat with interested adult passersby and discussed the word “love.” She asked the same question of everyone and documented the process by capturing a consistent set of photographs timed with the discussion and recording the stories shared. The project has been created with the intent of comparative viewing.
What Is Love is housed under the umbrella project Wabisabi Butterfly, begun by Fama in 2010 with the concept of bringing together adult survivors of trauma and sexual abuse to form safe, respectful, and inclusive communities engaged in the arts and positive change.