"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Monday, February 21, 2011

back to the future

have i mentioned, i love time travel!

i found this wonderful photography project by a woman in Brazil by the name of Irina Werning, who has been collecting old photos from her friends in Buenos Ares and having them "go back in time" to re-enact moments from their past.

at first i thought she had just found old photos and then procured models who could be dressed up and posed in a way resembling the photographs, but about halfway thru the gallery it occurred to me that these past and future people are actually the same people. once you realize the photos are actually juxtaposing real past with real present, with decades in between, you're humbled by the human ability to transcend change. or to put it another way, humans wear change very well. babies become adults, brunettes become blondes, sprinkles of chest hair grow, trees grow, crooked teeth straighten, beards are grown, laugh lines appear – there are acute superficial differences, but the characters beneath the surface (one can imagine) are still relatively the same, albeit with some insane tattoos accrued along the way.

it's been quieting to look at these photographs and feel reassured of the constancy with which time grips us all. lately i have been perceiving myself as a stranger, so different from who i was yesterday, the year before, and ten years ago. to think of an image of myself when i was eleven and contrast it to how i feel now feels alienating and weird, like wearing the wrong shoe on the wrong foot. but i am reminded that perhaps life moves more in ripples than seismic waves. most of the time, anyway.


K. said...

Are you familiar w/ Tammy Rae Carland? She did a similar photography project where she re-enacted photographs of her mother and father taken when they were young.

Also, if you've read Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (I think you'd like if if you haven't), she actually posed as members of her family to take reference photographs that she used for the graphic novel. (The book Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics has some of Bechdel's recreated photographs in it & they're really fascinating to consider in conjunction w/ the finished project of her graphic novel.)

I'm really, really interested in the ways in which photographs function as narratives & how those narratives can be disrupted/challenged/read in new ways.

stephan!e lee said...

i'll have to check out that graphic novel. i haven't read too many graphic novels, i think the last one i read was about a lesbian vigilante, but i'm failing to remember the name. help?

i really loved the short story recommendations you gave me, btw. i read Lorrie Moore's BIRDS OF AMERICA, and though i loved it, became depressed b/c of it. her book SELF-HELP i find much more uplifting, funnily enough. it deals with similar topics and subject matter, but somehow they feel more personal and connected, instead of dreamt up scenarios of depressive people whose stories remind me too much of myself. if that makes any sense...