Tony Fouhse (Documenting Reality)

When it comes to the grittier side of the human condition, there really is nothing more devastatingly real than addiction. Many artists and photographers choose to capture the nature of addiction as it has a raw, unapologetic way of showing a human being at the lowest point of their lives. However, in terms of capturing the inner-most feelings of the addict as well as the enthralls of addiction, Tony Fouhse does it exceptionally. 


Fouhse’s latest book Live Through This is a real account of his attempts to help the addict Stephanie Macdonald during stints in hospital, rehab and the eventual circumstances that resulted in her living with Fouhse and his wife. His photographs depict the loneliness and isolation involved in heroin addiction, as well as the obvious health side effects, which included in this case brain surgery.


In documenting such a persons life who is in such a fragile state, there are obvious moral and ethical concerns. Many people could see the photographs and accuse Fouhse of exploiting a very vulnerable woman. During an interview on this subject, Fouhse stated that  “I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know if I’m helping you or hurting you.” There is a very definite sense of the photographers friendship with Macdonald present throughout the series. There is nothing romanticised about these images of addiction.



Tony Fouhse’s website


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