May 7, 2014 by Elodie A. Roy
In 2006, photographer and music-lover William Ellis started taking pictures of artists with their favourite recordings. On his website, Ellis describes the ongoing ONE LP project as: “A study of the artist portrayed with a favourite recording. Each portrait is accompanied by a short interview that explores the album’s meaning and value for the subject.”
Music, though it informs the project, is also strangely absent. Music objects are shown and spoken about; yet they remain stubbornly mute, as photographs simultaneously reveal and displace the musical.
Photographing record collectors proudly displaying their collections is a common practice. The work of William Ellis, though, does not address the homogeneity of a (real or imagined) ‘collectors’ category’. Rather, it focuses on the singularity and personal voices of record-owners. An air of mischief often pervades the portraits – artists are alone with the record s/he chooses to show. Ultimately, they keep their secrets.