Willis is an Atlanta based photographer who has been photographing the now-gentrified community he grew up in - creating composite landscapes composed of multiple images and gaps. This series, En Évitant Theseus' Seconde Mort, is based around the Egyptian concept of “Second Death,” the idea that after an individual’s physical death, once everyone who knew him died, the person would be forgotten forever. The Ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced, remains fundamentally the same object. Willis considers these concepts as he experiences and photographs the changes in his Atlanta community.
“After coming back home from so many years deployed, I found my community ravaged by gentrification. Landmarks of blackness swept away in the name of progress - my tight knit community converted into a diaspora. As I reconstitute who I am from the parts of who I was, I look at the things I previously used to define myself. As they disappear and my past experiences a Second Death, I attempt to recreate my past in these photographs. Just as a memory has gaps, so do my images,” says Willis. He is currently in the Navy Reserves and pursuing a BFA in photography at SCAD-Atlanta.